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Chart of the Day: Bikes Beat Cars for Cities Tackling Congestion


By Jeremy van Loon

June 9 (Bloomberg) — Bicycle production may widen its lead over auto-making as governments try to ease congestion and reduce carbon emissions.The CHART OF THE DAY shows the number of bicycles manufactured has grown twice as fast as car output in the past four decades, increasing sixfold. In monetary terms, bikes trail behind. The global bike market, including models with supplementary electric motors, is 20 billion euros ($24 billion) a year, according to Bike Europe, an industry data service. That’s about a quarter of car sales in Germany alone.
“Bicycles offer affordable mobility,” said Matthew Roney, a researcher at the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., a non-profit group. “It’s very likely this gap between cars and bicycles will continue to widen with cities investing more in cycling infrastructure.” London and New York are expanding bike parking lots and paths to boost riding toward levels already reached in Copenhagen, where almost 40 percent of commutes are made on two wheels. China, which makes more than half the world’s bikes, has banned gasoline scooters in some cities. That increased sales of electricity-powered bicycles. Almost a third of new bicycles sold in China have a pedal-activated motor, according to Bike Europe.

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One Comment

  1. Mike Moskos says:

    China makes about 2 million electric powered bikes a year according to the book, “Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization” by Jeff Rubin. A good read.

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