In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars



Could it happen in the United States, at least in dense urban areas? NPR reports on the exploding bicycle sales in Europe:

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

Indeed, earlier this month, NPR’s Lauren Frayer reported that Spain, which has long had a love affair with cars, is embracing the bicycle: For the first time on record, Lauren noted, bicycles outsold cars in the country.

But it’s becoming a Continent-wide phenomenon. More bikes were sold in Italy than cars — for the first time since World War II.

This prompted us to look at the figures across the 27 member states of the European Union for both cars and bicycles. New-car registrations for Cyprus and Malta weren’t available, so we took them out of the comparison.

Here’s what we found: Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in every one of those countries, except Belgium and Luxembourg. The top five countries by bicycle sales can be seen in the top chart.

We decided to delve a little deeper into the figures and see which of these countries had the highest rates of bicycle-to-car ownership. Those states can be seen in the second chart.

So, what explains the numbers?

Parts of the data can be explained by the slump in car sales across Europe. Car sales reached a 20-year low earlier this year. More recent figures showed they were recovering…

[continues at NPR]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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2 Comments on "In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Oct 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm |

    which probably has the most extensive bike path system is the whirled
    has been abandoning the use of bikes as quick as they can
    riding a bike in China means you’re poor
    owning a car means you’re on your way up
    in Der Homeland
    there are few bikes lanes & lousy public transportation options
    and riding a bike to replace a car is considered strange & suspicious
    and both China & Der Homeland subsidizes the use of oil

  2. Anarchy Pony | Oct 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm |

    Two wheels good, four wheels bad!

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