Sales of electric bicycles, which have been enjoying steady growth over the past 10 years, have been given a boost by a new cycling boom. Bicycle sales in general soared after the March 11 quake as stranded commuters sought alternative means of transport. The trend has continued as many office workers, wary of being stuck out in central Tokyo again due to cancelled trains, have taken up cycling. Getting back home completely under your own steam might be a bit much if you live way out in the suburbs, so that’s why electric bikes, which give a boost to the rider’s own pedal power, are a great option for longer distances.
According to GfK marketing, sales of electric bicycles from March 14-20 were up almost three times compared to figures taken between Jan. 2-10. Since the post-quake peak, sales have dropped, but have continued to be higher than average. While some of this can be put down to the start of the new academic year, we’re thinking that other new customers are using the bikes to help them cover long distances.