Manuel Marsilio, The General Manager of CONEBI talks about the challenges and the future of the bicycle industry.
Hello everybody, my name is Manuel Marsilio and I am the General Manager of the European association of the Bicycle Industry CONEBI.
Our work is to deal respectively with European institutions on one side and the international entities like the United Nations and the World Health Organization from the other one.
Cycling means jobs: in Europe there are around 900 companies, most of them Small and Medium Enterprises, providing 110,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to manufacturing, as well as 50,000 bike and e-bike dealers and more than €1 billion invested every year in Research, Innovation and Development.
E-bikes are one of the most tangible examples of those investments: their sales are booming, reaching almost 3.5 million units sold in Europe in 2019 and a forecast of 4 millions in 2020.
We still see a huge discrepancy between proposed funding, for example for the development of e-cars and the overall support for e-mobility on 2-wheels. That is the reason why the industry called on the European institutions to foresee substantial action to foster the cycling culture in Europe, from money to be given at national level for new and safe cycling infrastructures to VAT reduction policies, purchase bonuses for bikes and e-bikes and also good EU legislation. That, for example would allow e-bike riders to still be considered as a cyclist and not as a motorcyclist.
Thousands of kilometers of new bike lanes have popped up around Europe, and that’s amazing.
Take the example of Brussels, the city where I live. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we all knew Brussels for its never-ending traffic congestions, but in May it was decided that the entire city centre would be turned into a 20km/h zone with pedestrians and cyclists allowed to receive full priority.
I’m very glad that cycling has doubled in April and May in comparison to the same period last year.
No fear, bicycle shops won’t be out of stock in September, the only delay might happen for the 2021 models.
So, for the ones who haven’t done it yet, go to bike shops or online and become part of the cycling community!
Mobility Makers Team
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