‘It feels very fun and freeing’: US sees ebike boom after years of false starts

A man rides an ebike in Hermosa Beach, California. Photograph: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images Sales surge as cities and states look to cut pollution from cars and improve options for Americans to get around After several years of false starts, electric bikes are finally entering the American mainstream, amid booming sales of a multiplying number of models on offer and as more states offer incentives for people to ditch their cars and shift to two, motor-assisted, wheels. This year could be considered “the year of the ebike”, according to John MacArthur, a transport researcher at Portland State University. Ebike sales in the United States leaped by 269% between 2019 and 2022, with the market size expected to have grown further in 2023 , to be worth $2.59bn. While ebikes took off in other parts of the world the US was slow to catch on, until the Covid pandemic, when streets were closed off, public transit numbers dropped and people were looking for alternative ways to get around. This, combined with city and state efforts to cut pollution from transportation to meet climate goals, has helped fuel an ebike surge that has no sign of abating. “All these converging trends means that I think we’ll look back at this year and think this was an important moment,” said MacArthur. “Ebikes are in the zeitgeist, people are talking about them. They are inclusive of everyone. Even my mom is thinking of getting one.” Nationally, Joe Biden’s administration has been fixated on shifting people from gasoline cars to electric cars, with tax credits worth up to $7,500 to people who want to get an EV. But there is no comparable federal support for buying an ebike, even though sales of ebikes now outstrip that of electric cars and many experts point […]

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By Donato