Electric bike exports power Taiwan’s trade in first half

Electric bike exports again surpassed those of pedal powered cycles in the first five months of 2021 as Taiwan played its part in addressing the global shortage in supply for cycling goods.

The Ministry of Finance said on Monday that the value of the electric bike exports hit a new high, totalling $550 million (USD) from January to May, representing a value uptick of 44.2%. It is not the first time electric bike exports have surpassed regular cycles, that milestone came last year.

The United States was the largest individual importer of the e-Bikes at nearly 40% of the tally taken.

Europe took 53.6% of the cycle components leaving the country and the USA 14%. Most telling in the data, the export numbers from Taiwan to Europe for pedal cycle components were up 65.2% like-for-like. The total value of component exports hit $1.74 billion.

The milestone narrowly surpassed bicycle demand, which likewise recorded a 38% increase in export value to reach $530 million. The trade Ministry stated that cycle demand would have been higher but for the pandemic and a trend for people to make use of available share scheme bikes in the face of lowered availability of bikes to buy.

Reporting on the strengthening demand, The Taipei Times cited an ever-present tension between the US and China that was inflamed during the Trump presidency but has yet to settle as just one reason foreign buyers had sought to shift orders to the neighbouring island. There are also tariffs on Chinese e-bikes coming into the U.S. and anti-dumping duties into Europe that tilted the appeal toward Taiwan as a sourcing favourite at certain price points.

Likewise, the local news outlet cited “growing awareness of environmental issues”, but did not expand upon the point.