Tag Archive: germany

  1. German pedelec accident stats show increase in younger riders

    Comments Off on German pedelec accident stats show increase in younger riders

    Pedelec customers have become younger in recent years, with accident statistics reflecting the trend.

    Source: Destatis

    Age structure of Pedelec riders involved in accidents in a year-on-year comparison since 2014 (Source: Destatis)

    • Almost a third of those who had an accident with a Pedelec in 2023 were younger than 45 years, compared to 11% in 2014.
    • The number of Pedelec accidents with personal injuries has increased more than tenfold compared to 2014
    • Pedelec accidents resulting in personal injury are more likely to result in death than accidents involving bicycles without an auxiliary motor

    More and more young people are discovering bicycles with electric motors – this is also reflected in the number of accidents. While in 2014 more than half (54.5%) of the users of such Pedelecs – often colloquially referred to as e-bikes – who had an accident were at least 65 years old, in 2023 the figure was only a third (30.1 %). As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports, the proportion of younger people who had an accident with a Pedelec rose accordingly: in 2014, one in nine people (10.7%) who had an accident with a Pedelec was under 45 years of age, and in 2023, almost one in three (31 .2%). For comparison: In the case of accidents on non-motorized bicycles, one or one in six accident victims was 65 or older. More than half (54.8%) were younger than 45 years.

    Growing popularity is reflected in increasing accident numbers

    Overall, the number of Pedelec accidents in Germany has risen sharply in recent years: In 2023, the police reported a good 23,900 Pedelec accidents with personal injury, around eleven times as many as in 2014, when there were still a good 2,200 such accidents. For comparison: In the case of non-motorized bicycles, the number of accidents resulting in personal injury has fallen: from a good 76,600 in 2014 to almost 72,200 in 2023. 2014 is the first year in which police accident reports nationwide differentiate between bicycles without an auxiliary motor and Pedelecs is differentiated. One reason for the development is the growing popularity of bicycles with an auxiliary motor. As early as 2022, 15.5% of private households in Germany had at least one Pedelec; in 2014 it was still 3.4% of households.

    This is also reflected in the number of Pedelec users who have had accidents. In 2023, 23,658 people had an accident while travelling on Pedelecs. That was almost eleven times as many as in 2014 with around 2,223 accidents. The number of Pedelec users killed in a traffic accident also increased significantly: in 2023, 188 people died on a Pedelec, and in 2014 there were 39 people.

    In contrast, the number of accidents on non-motorized bicycles fell by around 7% from 2014 to 2023. In 2023, around 70,900 people were injured on a non-motorized bicycle; in 2014 there were 76,073 people. The number of people killed also fell during this period: in 2023, 256 people died on a non-motorized bicycle, compared to 357 people in 2014.

    Pedelec accidents resulting in personal injury are more likely to be fatal than accidents involving bicycles without motors

    In view of the increasing number of accidents, it is being discussed whether Pedelecs are more dangerous than non-motorized bicycles. Based on 1,000 Pedelec accidents with personal injuries, an average of 7.9 riders died in 2023; in the case of a non-motorized bicycle, the figure was 3.6 fatalities. However, this is also due to the age of the accident victims: people who were injured or killed on a Pedelec were on average 53 years old and therefore, despite the falling average age, older than those who were injured on a non-motorized bicycle, who were on average 42 years old. Older people are more likely to be seriously or fatally injured in a fall than younger people.

    What is striking in this context is that the number of people who had fatal accidents with a Pedelec per 1,000 Pedelec accidents resulting in personal injury has decreased significantly in recent years: in 2014 there were 17.4 people killed per 1,000 Pedelec accidents (compared to 7.9 killed in 2023). This is also due, among other things, to the decreasing age of those involved in the accident.

    Methodological note:

    A pedelec is a bicycle with pedal assistance and an electric motor auxiliary drive with a maximum rated continuous power of 0.25 kW, the support of which progressively reduces as the driving speed increases and is interrupted at the latest when it reaches 25 km/h.

  2. Insurers highlight safety and wear and tear hot spots in ebikes

    Comments Off on Insurers highlight safety and wear and tear hot spots in ebikes

    Recent reports from German insurance accident research group UDV and German insurer WERTGARANTIE shed light on use, maintenance and risk areas for e-bikes

    Source: SAZ Bike, Saz Bike

    Leading German insurer WERTGARANTIE has shared insights from a survey of 5,000 bicycle and e-bike owners, carried out in partnership with Statista. The study records which components are most often affected by damage, how regularly and by whom the bike is cared for, maintained and repaired, and how the use of bicycles and e-bikes differs.

    The survey, which was representative of the population according to age, gender and federal state, revealed many other findings, for example:

    1. Damages related to third parties, i.e. theft, accidents and vandalism, were experienced by around a third of e-bike riders (33.8 percent) and cyclists (37 percent).
    2. Tires on bicycles wear the most noticeably at 70 percent; 52.5 percent of e-bike tires are affected. Brakes also often fall victim to wear at 55.3 and 53.8 percent respectively.
    3. A large part of maintenance relies on the annual inspection. Professional help is often sought: 47.7 percent of bicycles and 68 percent of e-bikes are inspected and serviced in the specialist workshop.
    4. Bicycles such as e-bikes are still mostly used for leisure purposes. The willingness to use a two-wheeler to get to work is on average 9 kilometers by bike and 12.7 kilometers by e-bike. On average, cyclists would travel 7.4 kilometers for errands such as shopping; E-bike riders 11.4 kilometers.
    5. The highest prevalence of bicycles was found in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg with 93 and 92.7 percent, respectively. E-bikes are particularly popular in Thuringia (54 percent) and Baden-Württemberg (49.9 percent).

    The data was collected in collaboration with Statista. The complete bicycle and e-bike study 2024 is available for free download here.

    Research recently shared by German insurance accident research group Unfallforschung der Versicherer (UDV) was presented with a negative stance on the use of cargo bikes to transport children, with UDV head Kirstin Zeidler saying:

    “Parents predominantly use three-wheeled entry-level models to take their children with them on cargo bikes. These are difficult to drive and highly susceptible to tipping over. They offer children no protection for their heads or upper bodies in the event of an accident. Neither benches nor backrests are sufficient for the safe transport of children. In addition, every second child on a cargo bike does not wear a helmet and a third are not wearing a seatbelt at all or are not wearing it correctly. The most common accident involving cargo bikes is a solo accident, i.e. without the involvement of third parties.”

    Zeidler continued, “Cargo bikes could be safer if they had tilting technology and seats with head protection, effective belts and a safety cell to protect against impact. For example, the existing DIN standard would have to be tightened up.” In addition to the manufacturers, the UDV also holds the legislature accountable: The road traffic regulations for the transport of children on bicycles do not include any special requirements for cargo bicycles. “The legislature should close this regulatory gap quickly,” said Zeidler. Separate approval tests for cargo bikes for transporting children also make sense.”

    It must be noted that, in fact, CEN is currently developing standards for cargocycles, including a standard for passenger transport. The first standards will be published this year and will become applicable in all member states including Germany.

    An initial reaction to the UDV research from the bicycle industry came from industry veteran Albert Herresthal, who wrote to Kristin Zeidler, the new head of the UDV since February. Herresthal wrote that the study was unbalanced. “They explain that bicycle accidents involving children are ‘comparatively rare’ and that the other party in the accident is ‘usually the car’. At the same time, however, there is not a word in your media information about the inadequate infrastructure that is partly responsible for these accidents involving cars. Why not?” Many accidents could be avoided with better cycling infrastructure, says Herresthal, which probably speaks for the entire industry. Herresthal believes that this aspect should not be left out of accident research publications.

  3. Cargo bikes seen as an alternative solution to the car in Germany

    Comments Off on Cargo bikes seen as an alternative solution to the car in Germany

    A survey of German cargo bike users has revealed that they are viewed by some as a practical replacement for the car, with many noting the environment as the main reason for their choice.

    Source: Fietsberaad

    The Technical University of Berlin arranged for approximately 2,400 shared cargo bike users from Germany to participate in its questionnaire. Three-quarters of these respondents lived in a large city and about half did not own a car.

    Results showed that 7-18% of respondents had either gotten rid of, or not bought, a car since they began using a cargo bike, with 80% of them citing the environment as their biggest reason, followed by half stating financial reasons, and over 40% stating that they weren’t interested in driving.

    Study results also showed the cargo bike received better scores than the car on aspects such as environmental friendliness, raw material usage, greenhouse gas emissions, sense of freedom, flexibility, and price. Meanwhile, the car scored higher on functional aspects including road safety, speed, comfort, and weather dependence.

    The results of this study were published in January for the scientific journal Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior.

  4. More e-bikes sold than standard bicycles for the first time in Germany

    Comments Off on More e-bikes sold than standard bicycles for the first time in Germany

    Source: ZIV

    German bicycle industry association, ZIV, has recently presented positive findings from its 2023 report on the German bicycle market.

    ZIV’s CEO Burkhard Stork has highlighted great results for the German industry, despite the region experiencing a negative consumer climate, “Despite the current economic situation, bicycles and e-bikes remain very popular among consumers.”

    Bicycle sales and production levels high, with e-bikes leading the charge

    ZIV has reported that German bicycle production and sales figures have once again reached very high levels in 2023, similar to those of 2020, when COVID-19 effects prompted a surge in bicycle popularity. Notably, report findings reveal that e-bikes are driving the industry for most product categories, and have overtaken standard bicycle sales for the first time ever; with electric bikes holding a 53% share of the market (with sales of 2.1 million), and non-electric bicycles accounting for 43% of sales (1.9 million units sold). In 2022 the conventional bicycle occupied 52% of sales with e-bikes trailing at 48%.

    High bicycle demand in Germany reflected by sales figures

    Sales figures for bicycles (electric and non-electric) remained at the considerably high amount of €7.06 billion for last year. “Overall, the market data shows very clearly that people in Germany greatly value cycling in everyday life and recreation, along with the associated high-quality products,” says ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork. That data shows that although Germany experienced a difficult 2023 consumer climate, German citizens still recognised the need for high-quality, innovative bicycle technology from retail specialists, with schemes such as employer bicycle leasing also being a popular purchasing solution in Germany’s economic context.

    ZIV predicts a positive outlook for Germany’s bicycle industry

    ZIV CEO Burkhard Stork believes that economic, environmental and health benefits will continue to boost bicycle demand in Germany, saying: “The rising mobility, energy, rent and living costs, coupled with a growing environmental and health awareness, are conditions that boost the popularity of bicycles and e-bikes – both now and undoubtedly also in the future. Policymakers mustn’t forget bicycles and must finally fully recognise their potential.”

  5. Satisfaction with mobility in German cities is falling

    Comments Off on Satisfaction with mobility in German cities is falling

    The German ADAC automobile club recently conducted a survey assessing the satisfaction levels of residents and commuters in 15 major German cities regarding urban mobility. The findings indicate a nationwide decrease in satisfaction compared to a similar study conducted in 2017.

    Source: SAZBike

    The ADAC Monitor 2024, titled “Mobile in the City“, focused on the experiences of car drivers, public transport users, cyclists, and pedestrians in cities such as Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg. The results reveal a growing dissatisfaction with urban mobility, with car drivers expressing the highest levels of discontent. Conversely, pedestrians consistently reported the highest satisfaction levels in their respective cities, while public transport users maintained a steady level of satisfaction. Cyclists, though generally more content than car drivers, fell behind pedestrians and public transport users in overall satisfaction.

    Dresden and Leipzig retained their top positions from the 2017 survey, with Dresden showing improvement this time. Munich, Nuremberg, and Hanover were close behind, while Stuttgart, Cologne, and Duisburg found themselves at the lower end of the satisfaction scale. The survey also highlighted a notable decline in satisfaction in Saxony and across the nation. Dresden experienced a minor drop of four rating points, whereas Leipzig recorded a more substantial decline of 14 points. The overall average satisfaction score decreased by nine rating points, indicating a general dissatisfaction with urban mobility.

    ADAC emphasizes that the survey reflects the sentiments of mobile individuals in cities and does not provide an assessment of the actual state of infrastructure or mobility offerings. Helmut Büschke, ADAC Saxony’s board member for traffic and technology, underscored the importance of cities closely examining such surveys to address the consistent downward trend. He urged a holistic approach, emphasizing the need for ideas and adjustments across all forms of mobility rather than focusing solely on individual groups. As mobility dissatisfaction continues to rise, cities are encouraged to proactively respond to prevent further discontent among citizens and commuters.

  6. First Podbike Frikar deliveries to Germany just around the corner

    Comments Off on First Podbike Frikar deliveries to Germany just around the corner

    German purchasers of the advanced velomobile e-bike will soon receive their orders, as the brand begins strategic deliveries

    The wheels are in motion, and Podbike’s very first deliveries in Germany will take place in Bochum, Nordrhein Westfalen. This milestone represents a significant step in the brand’s journey. Podbike updates that, to ensure the smoothest experience for customers, deliveries will follow a meticulous, one-step-at-a-time approach, with thoughtful attention to detail.

    Podbike has also announced new service partner, Trimobile, to serve Nordrhein Westfalen and ensure that customers’ Podbike experience will be supported by a dedicated team.

    Along with this news, the brand share that they have opened new reservations for the Podbike FRIKAR in Europe once again, with delivery for new orders expected in 2025.

    The Podbike FRIKAR has recently been awarded with the Business Concept’s CSR Excellence Awards 2023 “Most Innovative Sustainable Urban eMobility Product – UK & Europe”. This achievement is a testament to the dedication, innovation, and sustainability that define the FRIKAR. The official announcement will take place in February 2024.

    About Podbike

    Podbike® reimagines the future of urban mobility as convenient, fun and sustainable. The company has invented an advanced e-bike to help bridge the transportation gap between cars and bicycles. Built on top of years of research and development, the T1 version of Frikar® ebike represents a new category of vehicle aimed at fighting climate change, lowering pollution and forming the transportation backbone of the smart cities of the future.

    Podbike AS was founded in 2016 by Per Hassel Sørensen (CTO and Lead Product Developer) and Anne-Lise Heggland (CEO) to address the growing challenges of urban mobility. The Podbike team is a collection of dedicated, nature-loving entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives located in Stavanger, Norway.

    The brand’s core motivation is a belief that tackling climate change is the greatest cause of our time. With a focus on sustainable and ethical production, and a product portfolio that prioritises low-carbon over low-budget, Podbike hopes to provide individuals and companies around the world with compelling transportation solutions.

    In developing the Podbike Frikar ebike, the company’s primary focus has been on improving existing velomobile designs to create the world’s most desirable car and bike alternative. With its all-weather canopy, long electric-assisted range and suite of comfort and function-focused features, the Frikar ebike is well positioned to become a vital part of global transportation infrastructure.

    Learn more at www.podbike.com

  7. Research analyses over 95 thousand bicycle and pedelec crashes over 9 years

    Comments Off on Research analyses over 95 thousand bicycle and pedelec crashes over 9 years

    Data gathered from police crash reports in Germany reveals minor differences in the makeup of pedelec and bicycle crashes, leading researchers to support generalised road safety improvements over targeting pedelecs.

    Research by Katja Schleinitz and Tibor Petzoldt and published in Journal of Safety Research has shed light on the development of pedelec (electric pedal-assist bicycles) and bicycle crashes from 2013 to 2021. The research, which analyzed data from three federal states, aimed to identify trends and clarify whether these trends were specific to pedelecs.

    The continuous growth in e-bike usage in Germany, with pedelecs supporting pedaling up to 25 km/h, raised questions about the use of historical crash data for road safety measures. The study, which analyzed 95,338 police-reported pedelec and bicycle injury crashes, revealed several important findings.

    While there were some differences between pedelecs and conventional bicycles, many variables showed a high degree of temporal stability. Notably, the mean age of pedelec riders involved in crashes was significantly older than that of conventional cyclists. However, the study also found that the mean age of pedelec riders had decreased over time, becoming eight years younger.

    Single vehicle crashes were consistently more common for pedelec riders than for cyclists, and pedelec rider crashes were associated with higher injury severity throughout the study period, likely due to pedelec riders being older on average. Pedelecs were also more likely than bicycles to experience a crash outside of urban areas, and on weekends. The data also showed similarities in the types of crashes involving both pedelecs and bicycles, with cars being the most frequent collision partners when multiple parties were involved.

    The study revealed a significant increase in the number of pedelec riders involved in crashes over the years, highlighting the growing popularity of pedelecs in Germany. This surge in pedelec ownership and usage challenges the long-term validity of findings regarding pedelec crashes.

    The researchers concluded that, while there are minor differences between pedelec and bicycle crashes, there is no immediate need for road safety measures specifically targeting pedelecs. Instead, the study emphasized the demand for innovative solutions to improve cycling safety in general.

    This comprehensive analysis provides valuable insights into the trends and characteristics of pedelec and bicycle crashes in Germany over a nine-year period. It highlights the need for continued attention to road safety, especially as the popularity of e-bikes, including pedelecs, continues to grow across Europe.

  8. Germany reforms Road Traffic Act with more autonomy for states and municipalities

    Comments Off on Germany reforms Road Traffic Act with more autonomy for states and municipalities

    Source: BMDV

    The federal government of Germany has approved the draft of a tenth law to amend the Road Traffic Act (StVG) presented by the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, and at the same time took note of the draft of an ordinance to amend the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO).

    As stated in the coalition agreement, the StVG and StVO should be adapted so that, in addition to the fluidity and safety of traffic, the goals of climate and environmental protection, health and urban development are taken into account.

    Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing:

    We are modernizing and expanding the Road Traffic Act to include the goals of environmental protection, health and urban planning. However, the safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account in the future. In this way, we enable new scope for decision-making on site without neglecting the interests of road traffic. In the future, states and municipalities will be able to respond more quickly and flexibly to special local requirements. We are primarily making it easier for safety measures at playgrounds, busy school routes and pedestrian crossings. The authorities also have the opportunity to arrange special lanes for climate-friendly forms of mobility. In doing so, we are taking a big step towards modern, climate-friendly, progressive and safe mobility.

    In detail:

    The amendment to the Road Traffic Act creates the legal framework in order to then grant the authorities new powers in the Road Traffic Act . The StVG thus provides the authorization for new regulations in the StVO . It clearly states that when the authorities issue new powers through the StVO , the safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account. This is an abstract regulation that presents the StVO with the task of issuing concrete provisions on this basis. The StVG itself does not create any options for the authorities to intervene or issue orders. The StVG also clearly states that the local authorities, if they later make use of the new powers that have yet to be regulated, must also continue to take into account the impact of the actual order on the safety and ease of local traffic for the specific location.

    What does the new road traffic law bring?

    On this basis, the StVO will then provide for specific powers for local authorities, e.g. B. for the arrangement of special lanes for certain climate-friendly forms of mobility on a test basis, for example for electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles or vehicles occupied by several people. It will also give local authorities more flexibility in the arrangement of resident parking. Previously, the authorities assumed that significant parking pressure would have to be proven in advance. In the future, it will be expressly made clear that prognostic data in urban planning is sufficient for these purposes. This means: You don’t have to wait for the actual parking situation to develop.

    It is also planned to make it easier to place 30 km/h regulations in very specific places, namely playgrounds, busy school routes, pedestrian crossings and sections of up to 500 meters between two 30 km/h routes, so that traffic can flow better.

    The StVG still has to be passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. In a second step, the new authorization basis for issuing the specific measures mentioned will be filled out by an ordinance that regulates the powers of the local authorities in detail. The BMDV has drawn up a corresponding draft of the Road Traffic Act , which is now being coordinated with the states. The aim is to have it passed in the Federal Council this year.

    For classification:

    The Road Traffic Act sets a legal framework within which the federal ministries, with the consent of the Bundesrat, can draw up traffic rules and requirements for the state authorities regulating traffic in the form of regulations. It does not contain any specific traffic rules or any direct requirements for the authorities who implement traffic law locally.

    The aim of the draft law is to expand the scope of the legislator’s authority to issue specific road traffic regulations ( e.g. regulations of the road traffic regulations). A new, additional authorization basis is being created that entitles the holder to issue regulations. According to this, in the future, regulations and orders based on them can be issued by local authorities – exclusively – for the purpose of improving environmental and climate protection, protecting health or supporting urban development. Safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account.

  9. Research highlights preference for proper cycle infrastructure among e-bike and cargo bike users

    Comments Off on Research highlights preference for proper cycle infrastructure among e-bike and cargo bike users

    Source: Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives

    Research published in the latest edition of Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives reveals the route preferences of cyclists across different categories of bicycle.

    The research was in part inspired by the growth of cargo and electric bike markets, in this case classed as ‘innovative’ bikes, as well as the numerous environmental and health benefits of cycling and improved cycling infrastructure. Researchers Michael Hardinghaus and Jan Weschke aimed to make better data available in the adoption and kinds of cycle infrastructure projects. The methodology adopted a graphically assisted online discrete choice experiment.

    The different infrastructure needs anticipated by such innovative bikes includes potentially wider track, and consideration of different acceleration behaviour. The authors also identified the lack of past research that specifically compares or differentiates bicycle types. Small sample sizes and inconsistencies in conclusions lead them to state that current research is not sufficient for understanding route choice among these categories.

    The sample set consisted of 687 users, of which 271 were e-bike users, 166 cargo bikes and 250 regular bikes. The majority of the group were males ages 25-54, with more than 70% being daily cyclists. For the route choices, features for cyclists to assess included whether arterial road or side street, presence of bike lane, cycle path, or protected bike lane, maximum speed for cars of 50 km/h or 30 km/h, cycle street (no through traffic, residents only), living street (max. speed cars 7 km/h), cobblestone or asphalt surface, presence of on-street parking, and presence of trees.

    Findings from the survey indicated that individuals who use cargo bikes and e-bikes place a greater emphasis on the quality of infrastructure compared to those who use conventional bicycles. This underscores the need for increased investment in such facilities, given the continued rise in popularity of these bicycle types.

    In terms of statistics, the research found that:

    “Protected bike lanes for example are valued about 20 % higher by cargo bike users and even nearly 40 % higher by e-bike users than by users of regular bike types. In the same way, bike paths, side streets and asphalt as smooth surface are valued between 15 % and 60 % higher by cargo bike users while e-bike users have higher preferences for bike lanes, bike paths, cycle street and side streets in the range between + 20 % and + 60 % compared to regular bike users.”

    The authors concluded that physically separated infrastructures along main streets such as bike paths and protected bike lanes are of major importance, as well as routes through side streets in general and cycle streets with priority for cyclists. It is hoped that the results shall be useful in supporting the design of future-proof bike friendly cities.

Campaign success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Member profile

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.