The Bicycle Association has just issued the latest analysis of the UK cycling market to its members.
Headlining the data for Q2 is an increase in the value of electric bike imports into the UK. Quoted by the organization as a ‘very significant rise,’ e-bikes accounted for 12% of the total value of bicycle imports during the second quarter.
At the same time, the numbers of ordinary cycles imported have suffered a sharp drop. Despite the strength of the e-bike sector, total import value for all bicycles saw a 4% decline on last year – which the BA say is partly explained by the fall in the value of Sterling – with an overall market worth approximately £3.8 million.
HMRC product coding changed at the start of 2017; whereas previously electric bikes were included in a larger group of items of lower value, more accurate coding has resulted in more robust data from January.
While acknowledging this makes accurate comparisons with previous years difficult, the BA says: “Corroborating the suspicion that lower value items were corrupting previous years’ data; since the coding change, the average unit value has risen considerably – the average value of imported units has increased from under £300 in 2016 to around £650 in 2017; much more in line with expected costs of an e-bike.”
The Bicycle Association says the latest data points to the growing importance of e-bikes in the UK market: “When analysed against the sharp decline in regular bike imports, shows that over 12% of the total value of all imports in 2017 (to end Q2) is now e-bike. Even with incorrectly coded items boosting the overall value in previous years, this is up from 8% in 2016, 5% in 2015 and under 2% in previous years.”