The electrically assisted bicycle is gaining momentum in the bicycle market.

In 2022, the number of electrically assisted bicycles (VAE) sold in France amounted to 738,000 units, representing 28% of bicycle sales in France.

The shift from mechanical to electric continues to be confirmed every year. In addition to achieving longer distances, users are often sensitive to the environmental cause by adopting a mode that allows them to reduce their carbon impact, abandoning the car for some.

Buying an e-bike is a real investment , so it doesn’t happen just anywhere.

Where do you buy an e-bike?

The vast majority of e-bike buyers go to specialist shops (47%) or to multisport brands (38%). Purchases in supermarkets (7%) or on the Internet (3%) constitute minority purchases, consumers considering the VAE as a product to try before buying.

What is the cost of an e-bike?

In specialized shops, the average basket is 2,757 euros. It drops to €1,326 in multi-sport stores and falls to less than €1,000 in supermarkets, which remain specialized in the entry-level. In the end, the average price of a VAE in France in 2022 is estimated at €1,965 according to Union Sport & Cycle.

VAE, cyclomobile, balance bike, speedbike: all electric, but very different technologies and performances

The VAE is equipped with a motor powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It doesn’t just run on electricity, the movement of the bike being initiated by the action of pedaling, with the motor acting as an assist.

Do not confuse the VAE with the light cyclomobile commonly called electric balance bike which does not incorporate pedals and is propelled exclusively by its electric motor.

The maximum speed of an e-bike is 25 km/h. Beyond this speed and up to 45km/h, it is a speed bike.

These differences in technologies and performances, led the legislator to differentiate the use of these various machines. Thus the use of a VAE meets the same road regulations as the “mechanical” bicycle. It is authorized to circulate on cycle paths and wearing a helmet is only recommended from the age of 12. Unlike the speebike, which is forbidden on the bike lane and for which wearing a helmet is compulsory.

The VAE, a means of transport for the elderly?

The pedelec offers a practical and versatile solution, combining the advantages of a mechanical bicycle with those of electric assistance, which makes it suitable for different types of journeys and topographies for all ages and fitness levels.

According to a study conducted by the FUB (French Federation of Bicycle Users), the average age of pedelec users is 49.6 years and 75.6% of them are over 40 years old. The public of VAE seems rather masculine, in particular because of the greater weight of the VAE.

The VAE has many advantages as an eco-responsible alternative to the car. By eliminating CO2 emissions, it helps preserve the environment. Moreover, 70.7% of VAE users are former motorists and among them we find many employees (76% of respondents).

Thanks to the electric assistance, it allows longer and faster journeys than with a conventional bicycle, thus reducing dependence on the car, which is confirmed by this study with 68% of respondents making more than 10 km per day, a figure that can be compared to the average home-work distance, which is 25.9 km (INSEE, 2004).

The main reasons for buying an e-bike are: the practical aspect of the e-bike (63.2%), the speed (61.5%), the terrain (55%), the health aspect (46, 2%), the preservation of the environment (45.1%), the savings made (42.3%) and finally the fact of sweating less (36.1%).

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