Bicycles outsell cars throughout Europe

Only two countries the E.U. had more car sales than bicycle sales last year.

Yes, cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen are some of the best cities for biking in the world. We know that car sales have hit all-time lows in Europe and that some car-loving countries like Spain and Italy are buying more bikes than cars. But we had no idea just how widespread the trend is throughout Europe.

As NPR reports, of the 27 member states in the European Union -- minus Cyprus and Malta for lack of data -- only Belgium and Luxembourg had new-car sales that were higher than bicycle sales in 2012. In every other country bicycles were the more popular form of transportation, in terms of sales, last year.

The countries with the biggest disparity between bike sales and car sales were Lithuania (which sold 115,000 bikes to 12,000 cars) and Greece (320,000 bikes to 58,000 cars).

However, it's worth noting that even in the United States, where car sales numbers are improving, there were more bicycle sales than new vehicle sales last year (18.7 million bikes versus 14.5 million vehicles).


Photo: Flickr/Mikael Colville-Andersen

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