09. 03. 12. - 15:59
E-bike boom pushes sales
Austrians might soon buy half a million bicycles a year due to electric bikes’ (e-bikes) changing reputation, according to retail sector businesspeople.
The image of e-bikes had changed, according to Michael Rummerstorfer. The marketing manager of sport equipment chain Sports Experts told Die Presse today (Thurs) that people were realising that "not only grannies are using e-bikes". He pointed out that various racing cycling models featured batteries as well these days.
Experts think that around 30,000 e-bikes were sold in Austria last year, around 10,000 more than in 2010. Chances that the number purchases of all types of bicycles in Austria soars beyond 500,000 in the foreseeable future are high. Sales analysts think that residents of the country bought 480,000 regular bicycles and e-bikes last year. Nearly 20 per cent were e-bikes, the Economy Chamber (WKO) told Die Presse.
E-bike sales increased steadily in the past few years thanks to several federal and provincial subsidisation initiatives. Political and economic institutions are expected to curb their spending on such projects in the near future due to the general intention to cut back subsidies during the crisis. Sport shop bosses hope that they managed to establish e-bikes on the market to keep sales up despite declining financial backing by lawmakers and economic groups.
The city of Vienna decided to assign an ambassador for cycling last year to increase people’s awareness for the positive aspects of the sport. Former Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) expert Martin Blum beat nearly 500 applicants for the position. The city’s Social Democrats (SPÖ) and their coalition partner, the Green Party, want to raise the share of cycling in Vienna’s overall traffic volume by 10 per cent to 16 per cent until 2015. Blum called the coalition’s goal "very ambitious".
The ex-VCÖ official said his plan was to create a better understanding between cyclists and motorists as reports about violent conflicts between people using bikes to get to work and car drivers are on the rise.
The Viennese Greens said Vienna must become Copenhagen as far as cycling was concerned. The party explained that cycling makes a share of 38 per cent in traffic in the capital of Denmark. Bregenz in Vorarlberg does best among Austria’s nine provincial capitals since. Cycling claims a stake or 19 per cent in the western city. Styrian capital Graz and Salzburg are tied for second place as cycling achieves a share of 16 per cent in both cities, according to VCÖ data.
Salzburg does significantly worse as far as bicycle thefts are concerned. A German online platform found that only one per cent of reported bike thefts were clarified by the city’s police. The check identified Innsbruck in Tyrol as the second-worst Austrian city in this regard (1.1 per cent). Geld.de investigated the situation in 127 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Around 25,000 bicycles are reported as nicked across Austria each year, according to federal police statistics.
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