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Halfords takes electric bikes mainstream


Cycling is to undergo a revolution as electric bikes go mainstream and cyclists are offered an effortless way of getting around.

Halford’s - Britain’s biggest retailer of bikes launched an exclusive, new range of Urban Mover electric bikes from the beginning of March 2010.

Sales in the UK are expected to soar to 30,000in 2011, according to the British Electric Bicycle Association, an increase of 33 per cent on lthe previous year.

Halfords, which sells over one in three of all cycles bought in Britain, is providing the best balance of quality and price with the new UM44L step through and UM33X mountain bike style Electric Bikes.

The bikes are already well established in mainland Europe. In the Netherlands, over 120,000 will be sold this year, and it’s thought annual sales could hit 300,000 in a few years. In Germany, e-bike sales are expected to account for a third of all bike sales by 2015.

Owners can save money and the environment compared to travelling by car. A 20 mile journey on an electric bike will cost just 5p compared to £2.00 in fuel for a 1200cc petrol car. * There is also no need for a driving license, road tax or congestion fees, and the bike is easy to use with no carbon emissions**.

The UM44L U-Sprite Electric Bike gives you up to 20 miles on one battery charge. It also features a lightweight aluminium frame which weighs only 22.5kg including the battery, a maintenance free 200w motor which is rear wheel mounted for safer handling, simple to use handlebar mounted controller, and puncture resistant tyres. The UM44 is priced at £1250.00 (correct 2010)

Where the prospect of commuting to work on a bike may seem daunting, Urban Mover electric bikes assist your pedalling, making carrying loads, travelling up hill and pulling away from junctions much easier and safer.

The UM33X Motion Electric Bike is priced at £1450.00. To ensure a comfortable ride it features a gel saddle and front suspension forks. Its durable tyres and mountain bike style makes it ideal for using on tow-paths or park trails.

Urban Mover electric bikes will be available to buy in 80 stores nationwide, and available to order from all stores and through Halfords.com.

A spokesman for the British Electric Bicycle Association, said: “Halford’s entry into the market is certain to provide a boost to the sector.  We expect demand for these bikes to be strong.”

The bikes are expected to appeal to commuters as a low cost way of getting to work, leisure cyclists who want to take it easier and car drivers who see the e-bikes as an alternative way of getting around.
Police in the Royal Parks in London have been using electric bikes fitted with blue lights and sirens and West Midlands police are trialing four bikes with manufacturer Urban Mover.

The BEBA spokesman added: “This sector really shows the potential to go mainstream very quickly.”
Halfords cycles expert Sue Crawford said: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of the move to establish e-bikes in the UK. They offer a real alternative to people concerned about rising fuel prices and environmental damage caused by conventional petrol and diesel engines. We are convinced that, as in other parts of Europe, they will not be a short term trend.”