Italian authorities are introducing a "bicycle bonus", manufacturers of electric bikes do not keep pace with the demand.
The pandemic led to a bicycle boom and caused a shortage of two-wheeled vehicles around the world, The Associated Press reported.
Back in mid-March, when countries closed their borders one by one, and people were asked to isolate themselves at home, there was a boom in bicycle sales in the world, which has not been observed at least in recent decades. Who provoked him? Yes, we are all: fitness maniacs who blocked access to sports clubs, passengers who do not want to be coughed on by public transport, parents of children stunned by forced sitting in four walls.
In the United States, for example, bicycle departments in large malls like Walmart and Target were swept clean. Local experts say that tales in the country during the pandemic became the subject of panic shopping - almost like toilet paper.
And this trend is observed everywhere. Cities in which the density of traffic on the streets had previously been high - like Rome and Manila, are now forced to hastily acquire dedicated paths for cyclists, as the number of two-wheeled vehicles has increased dramatically. And the municipal authorities of London are going to go even further and prohibit the movement of cars on some central highways. In some places, bicycle sales are growing thanks to the initiatives of the authorities. So, the Italian government included bicibonus among other financial payments relying on the residents of the country - the ability to regain 60% (maximum 500 euros) of the amount spent on the purchase of personal vehicles: bicycles, segways, monowheels, scooters...
However, at first this means of transportation still needs to be found: in some places a general transplantation on bikes has already led to their shortage. In the United States, it will take several weeks, or even months, to restore sales: about 90% of the bicycles sold there are made in China, and there production is only recovering from downtime during lockdown. Adult bike sales in the U.S. tripled in April - a surprise for marketers who predicted a further decline after demand fell due to high tariffs on imported bikes from China in 2019.
One of the consequences of the pandemic bicycle boom was the increased demand for electric bikes, which previously represented a niche segment of the general market. (The difference between this type of bike is that it allows you to ride, or not pedaling at all, or contributing to the correct distribution of effort. In any case, this is less energy-consuming and more comfortable transport.) Representatives of the Dutch company for the production of electric bicycles VanMoof, for example, report that the demand for their products has become “unlimited" since the beginning of the pandemic, and if previously the goods were delivered within 24 hours, now the delivery of orders is 10 weeks behind. The company's sales have grown significantly - for example, in the United States by 138%, and in the UK by 184%, and now VanMoof is trying to increase production as quickly as possible. A similar situation is with the Belgian manufacturer of electric bikes Cowboy - supplies tripled compared to last year. The sharpest growth was observed in May, when in the UK and France began to mitigate the lockdown.
It is likely that the trend for bicycles will remain for a long time. Many will remain to work on a remote site, so the need to get to the office every day by bus or metro will disappear. But you still need to go to shops and parks - and a bicycle, electric or ordinary, can become the optimal mode of transport for this.
There is another important point: regular cycling develops a person’s lungs, and healthy and strong lungs better resist viral infections!!