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E-bike owners often leave their bicycles at home for fear of theft

141 days ago

3 minutes

Source: Fietsberaad Crow

Almost one-third of ANWB members who own an e-bike occasionally opted not to ride it due to theft concerns in 2023. This is twice the rate of non-electric bike owners. This insight stems from ANWB’s study involving over 1,400 members.

The number of electric bike users among ANWB members has increased significantly in recent years. Over the past decade, there has been a nearly fivefold increase in e-bike ownership, from 9 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2023. Presently, the use of electric bikes (42 percent) nearly equals that of conventional bikes (46 percent).

Fear of theft

The surge in e-bike ownership is accompanies by a heightened apprehension about theft among riders. In 2018, 21 percent of respondents refrained from using their bike once to several times a month due to security concerns, this increased to 29 percent in 2023. Notably, over 30 percent of e-bike owners report leaving their bikes at home in 2023 due to theft fears, compared to 16 percent of regular bike owners. The primary reasons for abstaining from riding include heavy traffic at destinations and insufficient secure parking options. These issues are mentioned more frequently by e-bike owners than from ANWB members with a regular bike.

Loss due to theft

The risk of financial loss due to theft is also greater for e-bike owners, with 70 percent experiencing such losses compared to 62% among regular bike owners. Given the higher purchase cost of electric bikes (averaging €2,237 versus €750 for non-electric bikes), 69% of e-bike owners opt for insurance, compared to 22% among non-electric bike owners. Interestingly, emotional attachment to bikes appears stronger among regular bike owners, with 37% reporting to dread the emotional loss compared to 24% of e-cyclists.

Safe Storage

E-bike owners demonstrate a stronger inclination towards anti-theft measures than regular bike owners, securing their bikes significantly more often (71 percent versus 53 percent), employing 2 or more locks (67 percent versus 39 percent), and utilizing monitored bicycle sheds (49 percent versus 35 percent). Additionally, e-bikers are more likely to own connected bikes equipped with GPS tracking.

Undesirable development

According to the ANWB, the escalating fear of theft concerning, especially at a time when cycling on an e-bike is on the rise. The group advocates for safer bicycle storage options, advising cyclists to double lock their bikes and detach the battery when stored at home.

Research

This study marks the third time ANWB has investigated the impact of bicycle theft on usage, maintaining consistency in survey questions across 2013, 2018, and 2023 for comparative analysis.

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