Speed Pedelec bike sales skyrocket in NL

Man on an electric bike
Man on an electric bikePhoto: AndreyPopov/DepositPhotos

The popularity of high-speed electric bikes is skyrocketing in the Netherlands. On July 1st there were 17,200 speed pedelecs in the Netherlands, an increase of almost 62 percent compared to two years ago. These pedelecs - from 'pedal electric cycle' - are particularly popular among people aged 55 and older, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday.

The speed pedelecs, which can reach speeds up to 45 kilometers per hour, are particularly popular in Utrecht, where 142 per 100 thousand inhabitants own one. They're least popular in Limburg, 55 fast electric bikes per 100 thousand inhabitants.

The number of electric mopeds in the Netherlands also skyrocketed over the past two years, increasing by 74 percent. The number of conventional mopeds with internal combustion engines decreased by 2.8 percent since 2017.

"Due to economic growth there are more traffic jams and it is also very busy on the railways, so people are looking for other means of transport and such a speed pedelec is a good alternative", Statistics Netherlands spokesperson Marjolijn Jaarsma said to NOS. "Especially for the long distances, because it can travel 45 kilometers per hour."

The speed pedelec has a maximum speed of 45 km/h, much faster than the regular electric bicycle's maximum of 25 km/h. Speed pedelecs must adhere to the same rules as mopeds - wearing a helmet is mandatory and the rider must have a moped license. Speed pedelecs are also not allowed on bike paths.

The ANWB calls the fact that speed pedelecs are forced to use the public roads unwise. "The speed difference is much too large for a large number of users", the organization said, according to NOS. The ANWB wants speed pedelec riders to be able to choose for themselves whether they want to ride on bike paths or public roads.