E-bikes Imported to Japan Surge 53%

Jul. 14 2021

In the first 4 months of 2021, the values of E-bikes imported to Japan recorded a strong growth to a value of $ 73 million USD, compared to $48 million USD for same period of 2020.

China dominated over 92% of the exports of E-bikes to Japan, up to US $68 million due to the presence of a high number of E-bike manufacturers in the region. 2019-2021 figures have been steadily growing, with 50% growth in Jan-Apr 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. The # 2 exporter, Taiwan, nearly doubled the growth in 2021 to US $5.3 million, contributing 7.2% to the total E-bike export value. The earlier re-opening of factories and manpower availability in late 2020 has made China and Taiwan stand out for the export. India is a shining star in this industry, delivering 1774% growth from 2020 to 2021, surpassing US and Germany to rank # 3. 

US and Germany ranked No. 4 & 6 respectively, however, both dropped more than 70% when compared to 2020. One key reason was the lockdown due to Covid-19 until early 2021. Manufacturers and suppliers were sold out and could only offer long lead times as consolation. The bottleneck remained production and in turn, depending on the manufacturer, the availability of frames, components and spare parts.

Also, we can see a slight shift of E-bikes sourcing from countries nearer to Japan, a backlog of freight and mismatched demand has also caused the big drop to western imports. The cost of air freight has multiplied as a result of limited capacity from the significantly reduced passenger flights. On the other hand, many goods are shipped from Asia to Europe, but comparatively fewer in the other direction. Up until now, a large proportion of bikes have been shipped via sea freight, but container capacity amongst shipping companies is lagging too and the increased demand results in additional challenges. Therefore, facing all these challenges, sourcing from closer countries will inevitably a more preferable choice.

Overall, the E-bike market is expected to gain market growth in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027 with the CAGR of 10.1% and is expected to reach USD 10 billion by 2027. Japan is expected to achieve steady growth too. Lower emission requirements, emerging regulations accepting the use of E-bikes and sustainable consumers are driving the adoption of E-bikes. Some researchers are predicting that we can only count on “normal” conditions towards the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.

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