E-bike purchases increased by 27% last year in Switzerland according to Velosuisse, accounting for one-third of bicycle sales. And e-bikes that carve out the lion’s share are now electric mountain bikes.
Sales of electric mountain bikes doubled in 2018, without necessarily having a negative impact on traditional bike sales. “There are certainly some customers who buy an electric mountain bike model or an electric bike instead of a normal bike, but others rediscover the bike or the mountain bike thanks to this new electrical possibility”, underlines the spokesman of the network for soft mobility Suissemobile Lukas Stadtherr Tuesday in La Matinale.
Banned on some trails
The most popular electric mountain bike models are those that drive at less than 25 km / h. Faster e-bikes, which can reach 45 km / h, are considered as motorized vehicles and are therefore prohibited on some trails.
“The market and the industry have realized that fast electric bikes could pose a problem for example in terms of coexistence with hiking and other users on the trails,” says Lukas Stadtherr.
But the electric mountain bike sector is also a new tourist attraction in the region. “We now have nine terminals to recharge e-bike batteries, so one can move easily by electric bike throughout the town as well as in the mountains,” says the director of Verbier Promotion, Pierre-Andre Gremaud.
A revolution for mountain tourism?
He notes that sports shops rent and sell more and more electric bikes. “For most stores, this now represents 50% of rentals, and especially mountain electric bikes. For us, it becomes a flagship activity, we develop more and more, and we think that this new business is going, to a certain extent, revolutionize mountain tourism. ” Verbier will also be organizing the first eBike Festival next August.
Sales of electric bikes is certainly not a bad business for the region. An e-bike costs on average 3500 Swiss francs, which is nearly three times more than a traditional bike.
This post was translated from French. The original version was published on RTS. Photo credit – RTS.