Sales Of Electric Bicycles Surge

Electric bikes are a new global growth industry — they are competing with regular bikes and cars now. In the U.S., the retailer Best Buy now sells electric bikes. Some are made with lighter materials and are designed to appeal to baby boomers, as The New York Times reported Monday. China, which has a widespread tradition of biking, has $120 million electric bicycles on the roads — compared with 200,000 in the U.S.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And today's Last Word in business is about the growing power of the bicycle market. Electric bikes are the new global growth industry, we're told, and they're competing with regular bikes, even competing with cars. Bikers around the world are snapping up these bikes that include electric motors.

Here in the United States, the retailer Best Buy now sells electric bikes, some of which are made with lighter materials and are designed to appeal to baby boomers, according to The New York Times. But Americans have a long way to go if they want to catch up with the world leader in electric bikes: China. The Times reports that around 200,000 electric bikes were sold in the United States last year, while an estimated 120 million electric bicycles are now on the road in China.

And that's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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