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What’s in the Future for Australian Ebike Sales?

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Now that we have our first ever reasonably accurate number of ebike sales in Australia, how does this compare with other countries where they have been collecting sales data every year?

Firstly, to be fair to Australia, we need to take the combined figure of the 22 companies who participated in the survey, 27,500, and add an estimate for those companies who did not participate, which includes several medium to larger companies. We’ll estimate 5,000 units making a total of 32,500 for the financial year 2018/19.

The figures we’re using for Europe don’t quite equate date wise, being for the calendar year 2018. Given the rapid rate in growth in most European markets, it would be fair to assume that figures for 2018/19 would be higher, but we won’t make any adjustments and just run with the actual 2018 European figures.

Finally, we’ll take into account the relative populations of each country, to arrive at a number of ebikes sold per 1,000 population of each respective country, per year, and then rank the table from highest to lowest.

Our data source for population data is Wikipedia and for ebike sales data is Bike Europe.

As you can see from the table and bar chart below, Australia’s latest sales equate to about 1.3 ebikes sold per 1,000 people in Australia for 2018/19. The Netherlands, at the top of the table is currently selling 18 times more ebikes per head of population than Australia is. Due to its larger population, Germany, despite being the largest western market by volume at 980,000 units, is only mid ranking in sales per 1,000 population, still nine times higher than Australia.

Country Ebikes SoldPopulationEbikes per 1,000
Netherlands409,40017,097,00023.9
Belgium251,50011,539,00021.8
Austria150,0008,955,00016.8
Switzerland111,0008,591,00012.9
Germany980,00081,400,00012.0
Sweden103,00010,036,00010.3
Denmark40,0005,771,0006.9
France338,00066,400,0005.1
Italy17300060,930,0002.8
Spain111,29746,420,0002.4
Australia32,50025,253,0001.3

Data Source: Wikipedia and Bike Europe

Ebikes Sold per 1,000 Population

Chart of ebike sales per 1000 population

Data Source: Wikipedia and Bike Europe

Interestingly, the world’s largest ebike market, China, with 15,050,000 units sold in 2018 is selling only 1.1 ebikes per 1,000 population when you take their almost 1.4 billion population into account, ranking it below Australia on a per capita basis.

What predictions for future Australian ebike sales can we make from the European sales data? Virtually none with any degree of statistical confidence, as we need to build up a multi-year series of Australian sales data. Annual ebike sales growth rates in Europe, where data has already been collected for years, has varied widely from country to country and year to year, but mainly in the 20% to 50% per annum range.

If Australia’s ebike sales grow by 20% per annum then based upon the 32,500 sales estimate for 2018/19 in five years’ time, financial year 2023/24, we’ll be selling 80,600 ebikes per year. If Australia’s ebike sales grow by 50% per annum, then by 2023/24 we’ll be selling 246,675 ebikes per annum.

That higher figure might sound impossible, but not allowing for any population growth at all, that would put us at 9.7 ebikes sold per 1,000 people, still well below the current ebike sales rates of the top eight European countries.

If you factor in Australia continuing its current population growth rate of 1.6% per annum then we’ll have 27, 879,000 people living here in five years’ time and 246,675 ebikes sold will equate to only 8.84 ebikes sold per 1,000 people.

Then there are the price and performance factors. If you compare the latest ebikes to what was available five years ago, there have been significant improvements made. Given the global growth in the market, leading to major new players and huge product development budgets pouring in, how much further will the price and performance improve over the next five years? It will be reasonable to assume as least as much as the past five years, and probably more. Taking all of these factors into consideration an actual number closer to the higher estimate would seem like the most likely outcome.

Please feel free to share if you agree or disagree with this scenario!

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