According to Eurostat, the European Union produced approximately 13.5 million bicycles last year, an increase of 11% compared to 2020. The largest producers of bicycles in the EU were Portugal (2.9 million), Romania (2.5 million ), Italy (1.9 million), Germany (1.4 million) and Poland (1.2 million).
It is estimated that cycling promotes health and personal well-being, is economical to the extent that it can replace the use of private cars, helping to reduce air pollution.
In 2021, the EU exported 921 million euros worth of bicycles (both electric and non-electric) to countries outside the bloc, and imported 1.896 billion euros worth of bicycles from outside the EU.
Data for 2021 show that the EU exported 1,487,700 non-electric bicycles, worth 433 million euros, and imported 5,743,700 units, worth 1.046 billion euros. Compared to 2020, the number of non-electric bicycles exported increased by 16% in 2021, while imports rose by 17%.
Last year, 315,800 electric bicycles, worth 488 million euros, were exported by the EU, while the bloc imported 1,148,600 electric bicycles, worth 849 million euros, from countries outside the bloc. Compared to 2020, the number of e-bikes exported increased by 15% in 2021 while imports rose by 37%.
In 2021, the UK was the main destination for EU exports of non-electric bicycles (30%), followed by Switzerland (21%), the United States (6%), Norway and Australia (both 5%).
Also, the UK and Switzerland were the main destinations for EU e-bike exports (38% and 27% respectively), followed by Norway (13%) and the United States (8%).
In 2021, imports of non-electric bicycles from countries outside the EU bloc came mainly from Cambodia (27%), Taiwan (26%), China (10%), Bangladesh (8%) and Turkey (5%), while EU imports of e-bikes came mainly from Taiwan (57%), Switzerland (13%), Vietnam (11%), China (7%) and Turkey (6%).
In the middle of this year, the German company Corratec inaugurated last week an electric bicycle factory in Timișoara, choosing our country to reduce its dependence on Asian production, after the company sought, for several years, to locate a factory both in southern Germany and in Austria.
“We are celebrating the opening of our new factory in Timisoara, Romania’s Silicon Valley,” the company said in a post.
The Corratec factory in Timișoara has a built area of 30,000 square meters, on a plot of land with an area of 50,000 square meters.
For now, between 350 and 400 electric bicycles are assembled in the Corratec Timișoara factory.
“In a short time we want to reach 600 electric bicycles per day; the long-term plan is to produce 1,000 bikes a day. Now we only assemble e-bikes, but in the future we want to bring normal mountain bikes here as well. The market will tell us what we will be able to do. It’s a family business and we plan step by step”, said Konrad Irlbacher, founder of Corratec.
Today, 80 people work in the factory in Timișoara, but the intentions are that by the end of the year, the factory will have over 200 employees, and at the end of 2023 – up to 500 employees. One of the suppliers of labor will be the Polytechnic University of Timișoara, which has already concluded a partnership with Corratec.
Timisoara has become a hot spot for bicycle production in Romania. The sports retailer Decathlon previously announced that the factory of the partner Sport Mechanical Workshop will concentrate all Decathlon’s bicycle production activity in Romania, with an investment exceeding 30 million euros, with the plan to produce more than 1.5 million bicycles annually, for Romania and Europe.