25 Years Since Debut, Electric Bicycles Enjoying Brisk Demand in Japan (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)—Electric bicycles, or bicycles with a motor attached to assist with pedaling, are enjoying brisk demand as they mark the twenty-fifth anniversary this year since the first model was released in 1993.

According to the industry ministry' data, sales of electric bicycles in Japan in 2016 grew 15.3% from the previous year to 539,529 units, breaking the threshold of 500,000 units for the first time. In 2017, sales may reach 600,000 units.

The market is growing as the customer base expands from the elderly to younger child-rearing generations and with the arrival of electric sports bicycles. Electric bicycles now account for about 10% of all bicycle sales in Japan, excluding bicycles for toddlers and unicycles.

A Yamaha electric bicycle. Attached to the white frame, there is a black battery. Photograph taken in November 2017. (© Jiji)

Since the world's first model was released by Yamaha Motor Co., electric bicycles have shown a great deal of evolution, including in price and battery strength.

Customers now can easily find models priced at less than ¥100,000, while early models used to be typically sold for around ¥150,000.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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