Usage of bicycles has increased tremendously

I am honored to be invited to contribute to the valuable Taiwan E-Bike Source by providing an overview of the main developments within CONEBI and WBIA over the last year.
2019 – Positive trends
Looking at CONEBI, 2019 shows another year of expansion for the EU Bicycle Industry. Strong growth could especially be noticed in both sales and production of pedal assist e-bikes. The total joint sales of bicycles and e-bikes remain similar to the previous years, amounting to around 20 million units sold in 2019 but the overall sales value of the industry continues to rise to about 15€ billion. This is due to the increase in sale in pedal assist e-bikes which grew by 23% from 2018 to 2019, surpassing the mark of 3 million units sold annually for the first time and representing 17% of the total bicycle sales. CONEBI expects this positive trend to continue over the next years, and predicts that e-bikes sales will rise to more than 6.5 million units in 2025. 
Alongside this, the number of direct jobs in the EU also increased in 2019 to more than 60,000. We have to add to this more than 60,000 indirect jobs upstream and downstream, for a total of around 120,000 jobs which represents a 14.4% growth in comparison with 2018 and 32% in comparison with 2017. 
2020 – Tremendous impact of COVID-19
Turning towards 2020, this has been a turbulent year for both the European and the global bicycle industries due to the impact of COVID-19. In March and April factories were closed in most European countries, supply chains were disrupted, bike shops could repair but not sell and governments were asking citizens to limit movements to only necessary activities. The economic impact in the above context has therefore been considerable. We can say that the loss of sales was in a range of 15% to 60% (depending on the country) in comparison with the pre-COVID 19 forecast for March and April 2020. 
Towards the beginning of May, the situation in Europe started to change: factories were re-opened, bike shops were allowed to sell again and Cycling was encouraged with new cycling infrastructures and bicycle subsidies thanks to the action at national level of CONEBI members. What we see now is that sales will be almost fully recovered and that the usage of bicycles has increased tremendously across Europe.  
This quick recovery shows that the EU Bicycle Industry is a major contributor to EU competitiveness, innovation, sustainable manufacturing (thanks to its positive carbon footprint), circular economy and the overall development of Industry 4.0. Concrete examples are the increasing use of secondary recycled alloys and recycled rubber for the production of bicycles as well as innovation in novel laser cutting technology for steel and alloy frame tubes, new generation of TIG welding robots with 3D camera-scanning capabilities and new fully automated and computer-controlled processes for bicycle component production. 
Active participation
To ensure that this positive growth of cycling will continue at the European and international level both CONEBI and WBIA have participated in various forums over the past months. On an international level, WBIA has been participating in a joint task force of the United Nations and World Health Organization to draft Principles of Green and Healthy Sustainable Transport that will later be endorsed by transport and health ministers from around the globe. This task force has been established as COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on mobility patterns around the world. Social distancing and recent studies show a correlation between air pollution and the severity of COVID-19-related respiratory symptoms which has lead to many citizens switching to cycling – especially in urban areas. Cities now have the possibility and the responsibility to restart in a manner that is conducive to a more efficient, green and sustainable framework. To prepare feedback for this task force I have been happy to see the cooperation of the WBIA members, including TBA, in compiling the best practices that have been established in the different regions to help push cycling to the next level.