Tag Archive: E-bike

  1. UK government publishes new guidance to enhance e-bike and e-scooter safety

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    Source: GOV.UK

    Guidance includes information on how to safely buy, store and charge e-cycles and e-scooters.

    Information around how to safely purchase, charge and use e-bikes and e-scooters has been published by the UK government to improve consumer safety.

    After thorough consultation with the industry, guidance on battery safety has been developed for both e-scooters and e-bikes, which aims to enhance awareness among owners regarding the safe purchase of e-cycles or e-scooters, ensuring compliance with manufacturing requirements, and promoting transactions with reputable sellers. The documents cover information on secure storage and charging, the warning signs for fire risk and how to address them, and responsible battery disposal. The guidance also emphasises that legal use of e-scooters on roads is restricted unless they are part of an official rental trial.

    Separate guidance has been issued to assist public transport operators in evaluating and managing fire risks associated with the transportation of e-bikes and e-scooters on trains and buses. Similar information has been produced for those managing premises such as schools and workplaces.

    Minister Anthony Browne, responsible for Technology and Decarbonisation, affirmed that “Safety has always been our top priority, which is why our latest guidance aims to improve the awareness of e-bike and e-scooter users in the trial areas where they’re authorised.”

    This announcement follows the Home Office’s advice on fire safety for e-scooters and e-bikes published last year. To further understand the safety of lithium-ion batteries used in e-cycles and e-scooters, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is presently conducting a safety study and taking enforcement measures when unsafe products are found.

    The extension of e-scooter trials until May 2026 will facilitate further insights across various areas, including usage, safety and environmental impacts, and the exploration of travel behaviour changes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Oslo study shows e-bike subsidisation effective in encouraging active travel

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    Source: Science Direct, Journal of Transport & Health Vol. 35, H.B. Sundfør, S. Berntsen, E.T. Bere, A. Fyhri

    Researchers have noted that although there have been multiple e-bike subsidisation programs in Europe, limited research has been done on the effects of these schemes on travel behaviour, and whether they encourage more cycling and physical activity.

    E-bike subvention study overview

    Hanne Beate Sundfør, Sveinung Berntsen, Elling Tufte Bere, and Aslak Fyhri conducted a study on the effects of e-bike incentivisation in Oslo, Norway during 2020. It looked at the short-term effects on citizens who received a subsidisation from the government towards purchasing an e-bike, paying special attention to how it affected their cycling and physical activity levels.

    The subvention from Oslo City Council offered to cover up to 50% of the cost of an e-bike for residents. The study involved subvention beneficiaries completing questionnaires about the distance they travelled on various modes, and overall distance. It also involved them self-reporting the time they spent on e-cycling, conventional cycling, walking, moderate physical activity, and vigorous physical activity.

    Bicycle usage and physical activity hypothesis

    The group tested 3 theories about e-bike purchase subsidization effects on everyday cycling and physical activity. Firstly, that subsidising e-bikes would increase bicycle usage for trips below 50 km. Secondly, that subventions would lead to an increase in MET physical activity due to more daily active travel, including e-biking, conventional cycling and walking. And thirdly that subsidising e-bikes would lead to higher overall MET minutes of physical activity, (where MET means metabolic equivalent of task, a fitness measurement that signifies how intense a physical exercise is).

    Results

    Findings showed that Oslo’s 2020 e-bike subvention program positively impacted cycling behaviour. The study team discovered an increase in distances travelled by bike, and cycling itself as a more commonly used transport mode. It found that the scheme resulted in e-bike activity climbing by 12.6%, with citizens using electric instead of conventional bikes, public transport and cars.

    The study also revealed that while e-biking increased, conventional bicycling and walking decreased. Interestingly the researchers discovered that there had been an increase in MET-minutes from active transportation overall, showing that the higher levels of e-biking exercise covered the reduced exercise from walking and conventional cycling, showing the positive effects of Oslo’s subvention on encouraging more active travel through e-biking.

    Learn about the study in more depth and how it could aid environmental and public health targets.

  3. TRAXIO market research: 47% of Belgians want to buy a new bicycle, mainly e-bikes from a bicycle dealer 

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    The Beglian automotive federation published figures on bicycle purchase intent following a 2023 market survey

    Source: TRAXIO

    Filip Rylant, spokesperson for the mobility federation TRAXIO, summarizes the findings of a comprehensive market survey conducted in November 2023 among 2,000 Belgian respondents regarding their intentions to purchase a new or second-hand bicycle. According to the survey, the inclination to make a purchase is notably high, with nearly half (47%) expressing a definite ‘yes,’ while 18% remain uncertain. This positive trend extends to both the short and long term, with 39% planning to make the purchase within two years, 43% within 2 to 5 years, and 17% within 5 years or more. The focus is predominantly on e-bikes, constituting 46% purely e-bikes and 18% a combination of mechanical and electric bicycles. The preferred channels for acquiring a new bicycle are bicycle shops (43%) and sports shops (29%), unlike in neighbouring countries where second-hand bicycle purchases are more common.

    Are you considering a new bike, if yes in what time frame?

    The prospect of obtaining a new bike is encouraging in the near to medium term, with 47% of respondents affirming their intention to buy, while only 18% are undecided. Interestingly, 35% express no desire to acquire a new bicycle. Among those planning a purchase, a significant portion aims for the relatively short term, with 39% intending to buy within two years and 43% within 2 to 5 years. Additionally, 17% plan to make a purchase within 5 years or more, indicating a well-distributed timeline for potential buyers.

    What type of bicycle are you likely to buy?

    The shift towards e-bikes is evident, with 46% planning to purchase at least one e-bike. Another 18% plan to acquire both mechanical and electric bicycles, while 36% opt for one or more mechanical bicycles. This points toward a continued electrification of the Belgian bicycle market. A closer examination of the replacement market reveals that 39% of respondents intend to replace a mechanical bicycle with an electric one, and 27% plan to replace an old e-bike with a new e-bike, emphasizing the substantial potential of e-bikes in the coming years.

    Where are you likely to purchase your bike?

    Consumer preferences for purchasing are tilted towards physical stores, with 43% favouring bicycle shops, 29% opting for sports shops, and 21% considering online options. Media partners’ offerings attract 7% of potential buyers. Proximity, expert advice, and the opportunity to test-drive emerge as key advantages for physical sales channels.

    Would you consider purchasing a second-hand bicycle?

    Belgians appear conservative compared to their Dutch counterparts, as 53% express reluctance, 27% are in favour, and 20% remain undecided. It appears to be too early for second-hand cycles, the evolution of these figures in the coming years will be interesting to observe.

    TRAXIO STATS

    TRAXIO regularly monitors the registration of new and used vehicles, providing detailed insights into national and regional breakdowns, fuel types, CO2 emissions, brands, and ages across various categories such as passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, campers, trailers, and speed pedelecs.

  4. Brabant incentive program has a positive effect on e-bike use

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    A study on the Brabant bicycle incentive program, B-riders, revealed that 70% of participants cycled to work on an e-bike as many or more days as planned during the initial six months.

    The B-riders program ran between 2013 to 2018, aiming to encourage North Brabanders to switch from cars to e-bikes. Researchers at Utrecht University and TU Delft conducted the study into the participants’ behavioral changes. Participants, who were required to purchase e-bikes and not own one beforehand, received monetary incentives based on kilometres cycled during rush hours. The program, costing one million euros, successfully prevented over a million car journeys during peak times.

    Results

    In the first month, 51% of participants followed their intended commuting frequency, with 8% cycling more and the rest less. Notably, 47% of former car commuters and 55% of multimodal travellers cycled as planned, highlighting motorists’ underestimation of cycling days. Over the subsequent six months, 50% cycled as intended, 21% exceeded their plans, and 29% cycled less. Remarkably, 68% maintained their initial intentions, with 83% of those planning 4 to 5 cycling days per week sticking to their goals.

    Motivation

    The study found that factors like attitude towards cycling and goal feasibility had limited influence on participants. Financial rewards and the Netherlands’ cycling-friendly environment may have played a role. However, with all participants already positive towards e-bikes and having registered to take part in the program, the question of motivating less enthusiastic individuals to cycle more remains unanswered.

    Background

    The B-riders program surveyed participants three times, with 547 fully completing questionnaires. Published in the Journal of Cycling and Micromobility Research in December, the study concludes that the e-bike holds potential for substituting cars in commuting.

  5. Dutch research forecasts substantial increase in e-bike travel by 2028

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    Source: CROW-Fietsberaad

    Figures published in the biennial Mobility Assessment, drawn up by the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy (KiM) in the Netherlands, indicate a significant rise in e-bike kilometers travelled

    In the Mobility Assessment 2023, published on November 14th, KiM analyzes the Netherlands’ mobility figures over the past ten years, and forecasts the development of mobility in the next five years. The bicycle – both traditional and electric – is one of the mobility types assessed in the passenger mobility section. The report categorises the data into several groups, with key findings summarised below.

    Kilometers travelled
    The number of bicycle kilometers recorded for 2022 is 17.9 billion, representing travel of approximately 1,050 km per person by bicycle, of which approximately 400 km was by e-bike. The distance travelled on regular bicycles has increased by 4 percent since 2021 and on e-bikes by 29 percent.

    Numbers of trips
    Since 2012, the total share of bicycles in the number of trips has remained the same at 27 percent, but the share of e-bikes has grown from 1 to 7 percent, while that of regular bicycles has fallen from 26 to 20. There were fewer individual trips in 2022 than in 2019, but the distance per trip is greater. The data shows that in 2022, an average e-bike ride was 5.6 kilometers long, and 3.2 kilometers on a regular bicycle. An average ride to education with an e-bike was 7.4 km compared to 2.9 km for the regular bicycle.

    Younger e-bike riders
    The increase in e-bike riders to education is reflected in the age demographic data. In the 12-24-year-old age bracket, e-bike riders have almost tripled since 2019. Older people also contribute to the cycling-kilometer count; those 60 and over cover more than half of their distance on e-bikes.

    Leisure time
    Overall, Dutch cyclists cover the most distance for leisure activities. The e-bike is used relatively more often for commuting, shopping and other journeys.

    Forecasts for the future
    For 2023, KiM expects the data to show that the total number of bicycle kilometers will be 7.5 percent higher than in 2019, and will be twenty percent higher in 2028. The growth is mainly due to e-bikes: the number of bicycle kilometers is expected to more than double by 132 percent compared to 2019. The use of the regular bicycle is expected to decrease by 15 percent and, thanks to the increased uptake of the e-bike, KiM expects that the use of regular bicycles will never again exceed the level of 2019.

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

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    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.

  7. ZIV releases comparative study on speed pedelecs in Europe

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    Source: Velobiz

    The German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV) has undertaken the first-ever comparative study on the adoption of speed pedelecs in Europe, shedding light on the diverse regulatory frameworks and experiences in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

    The study, conducted by Dutch sustainable mobility consultancy Mobycon, delves into the regulations, safety records, and infrastructure considerations for vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 45 km/h.

    ZIV Managing Director Burkhard Stork emphasized the study’s importance, stating that it provides a vital information resource for engaging with policymakers and key stakeholders. The study explores key questions, including the regulatory landscape for speed pedelecs, safety records, optimal riding conditions, and cross-country lessons for regulation.

    The comprehensive study, available for free download, highlights the great potential seen by the bicycle industry in the S-Pedelec category to drive sustainable mobility solutions, attract new customer segments, and foster technical innovations. Switzerland, with its user-friendly rules and robust infrastructure, stands out as a prime example where S-Pedelecs enjoy significant popularity.

    Sales figures indicate varying degrees of success across Europe, with S-Pedelecs holding a market share of 20-25% in the e-bike market. In contrast, Germany, with historically restrictive rules, lags behind with a meager 0.5% market share in 2022.

    Anke Schäffner, Head of Politics and Advocacy overseeing the study, underscores the study’s importance in dispelling misconceptions surrounding S-Pedelecs. The findings offer a nuanced understanding of the benefits and potential dangers, filling the existing knowledge gap.

    The study reveals a regulatory landscape characterized by tension between promoting sustainable mobility and ensuring pedestrian and cyclist safety. While the EU maintains a uniform vehicle class (L1 eB), individual countries exhibit stark differences in their approach to cycling infrastructure, speed limits, and access requirements.

    The ZIV considers the study a crucial foundation for advocating policies that enhance the attractiveness of S-Pedelec use in Germany, aiming to align the nation’s approach with successful models observed in neighboring European countries.

  8. Many e-scooters and e-bikes to be “treated just like bikes” under new Irish law

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    Source: Newstalk

    New Irish road safety legislation will categorise e-scooters and e-bikes similarly to traditional manual bikes, according to Irish transport consultant Conor Faughnan.

    The Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 was signed into law in June 2023, and has given the green light for regulations to govern e-scooters for the first time. Although the comprehensive regulations are not yet available, Faughnan told The Pat Kenny Show that this legislation will treat most electric bikes and e-scooters the same as regular pedal bikes.

    In the primary legislation, we know the maximum speed [for e-scooters] is going to be 25 kilometres per hour. The new law says an e-bike is grand – if it’s a light vehicle, if it’s 25km/h, then for all legal purposes, it’s a bike. Whenever you see in the law “bicycle” think “e-bike” – they have the same rules,” explained Faughnan.

    E-bikes typically have average speeds ranging from 20 to 25 kilometres per hour, whereas e-scooters have an average speed between 25 to 48 kilometres per hour. According to Faughnan, this new legislation around the speed and power of electric scooters and bikes follows a trend in most European countries.

    Faughnan emphasized that integrating legislation for e-bikes and e-scooters with regular bicycles will contribute to the safe operation of these electric vehicles, and people shouldn’t be intimidated by their seemingly faster speeds.

    If you just forget the engineer or the motor for the moment, [fast cyclists] exist already, imagine the guys zipping down the hills in their spandex, cycling at very fast speeds. In town, a lot of new cycle tracks… they have plastic bollards, and the cyclists are single-file. That’s quite frustrating if you’re on a big bike and you’ve got a lot of steam or you’re trying to get into town, and there’s a slow-moving mum with kids on a ‘trike’. It’s no different really whether the bike is e-powered. The simple rule of thumb is ‘it’s a bike’, until it gets too big and then it’s a moped.

  9. OVG6 reports upward trend in e-bike ownership and journeys in Belgium

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    Source: network duurzame mobiliteit

    Since 1994, the Flemish Government has been conducting research into the travel behaviour of Flemish people. This research is called the Research on Travel Behaviour, or OVG. In this study, a number of mobility characteristics of families and persons are studied, such as: characteristics of the person who moves, when, why, from where, to where, with what, for how long and how far someone moves. In the meantime, we are in the 6th edition.

    Results were shared in an article entitled ‘How do we move post-corona?‘, with detailed information broken down by sector. The data indicated positive trends for LEVs both in levels of e-bike ownership and in their modal share of journeys.

    Vehicle and driving licence ownership: more than 1 in 3 families own an e-bike

    Source: Institute for Mobility, June 2023

    77% of Flemish families have at least one bicycle, a number that is in line with previous studies. The number of Flemish families who own an electric bicycle is rising sharply. 35% of Flemish families also have an electric bicycle. For comparison: pre-corona (2019) this was only 20%.

    A Flemish family has an average of 2.13 bicycles (of which 1.61 regular bicycles and 0.49 electric bicycles). That figure remains stable over the years. 77.3% of families have at least one bicycle (including electric bicycles).

    The number of families with an electric bicycle continues to increase sharply: in OVG 5.2 this was still 10.89%, in OVG 5.3 16.93%, in OVG 5.4 17.78% and in OVG 5.5 more than 1 in 5 families (20.13%) has at least 1 electric bicycle. In OVG6, e-bike ownership is making another big leap: 35% of families will have an electric bicycle by 2022. Booming business.

    Much more often by electric bicycle (modal split)

    Source: Institute for Mobility, June 2023

    Flemish people cycle and walk more and more: 18.1% of journeys are made by bicycle and 17.3% on foot. The electric bicycle is on the rise: 5.3% of trips are with the electric bicycle and 0.3% with the speed pedelec.

    Based on OVG6, the Flemish government’s goal of making at least 40% of all journeys in a sustainable way has already been achieved.

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