While 92% of British people are yet to try an electric bike, 75% have some knowledge of what the system can offer. Generally, those living in rural areas or within higher-income households had a higher level of uptake and knowledge surrounding e-bikes. In contrast, those in urban areas, lower-income households, or ethnic minority groups reported a lower figure in both of these measures.
In particular, respondents recognized the potential of e-Bikes to aid those with mobility issues, as well as their green footprint in comparison to driving.
The UK to follow in Europe’s footsteps?
The low level of e-Bike usage within the UK should however not be seen as disheartening; it is typical for the country to trail behind European trends. The slow uptake may also be attributed to the perceived high price of e-Bikes, with 59% of respondents believing the technology to be too expensive. A direct subsidy on e-Bikes, as called for by 32% of bike shops, may offer a solution to this issue.
The second highest concern is related to the risk of theft; an issue unrelated to e-Bikes themselves but rather the lack of parking infrastructure seen within the UK. Those in younger age categories are particularly worried that permanent storage may be an issue.
Overall public perception of e-Bikes is positive, with a lower proportion of people (56%) identifying drawbacks than those who could name perks (80%).
Further findings can be found in the downloadable report, here.