Tag Archive: research

  1. Half a million jobs attributed to the German bicycle industry

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    The T3 Transportation Think Tank and bicycle trade association Zukunft Fahrrad have announced their study on Germany’s bicycle industry in the context of its economy from 2019-2023.

    Source: Zukunft Fahrrad

    The study has been cited as the first of its kind in documenting the overall effect of Germany’s bike industry on employment. It revealed that although Germany’s economy experienced a difficult time in 2023, its bicycle sector remained resilient with increases in sales and employment.

    It has been reported that approximately 491,000 employees serve the German bicycle sector through the trade, manufacturing, service sectors and cycling tourism, and found that an employment increased from 2022-2023, with direct employment in bicycle trade, manufacturing and services rising from 75,100 to 77,500.

    E-bikes and bicycle leasing helping to provide stability

    Services have been standouts in improving economic growth in the trade with a 25% employment increase, and a 23% turnover increase. Company bicycle leasing has also helped industry growth for higher value e-bikes, and increasing e-bike popularity as a whole has been significant for economic growth.

    Wasilis von Rauch, Zukunft Fahrrad’s Managing Director comments on the study’s significance for Germany, “The 2024 industry study measures the bicycle industry even more extensively than in previous years. And it shows the economic factor that the bicycle has in Germany. Around half a million people find employment as a result. Germany’s future is already riding on two wheels,”.

  2. ITF publishes Greener Micromobility report

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    In an update to previous research titled “Good to Go”, the new data reflects the improved evidence base regarding the environmental impact of micromobility 

    Source: ITF

    In 2020, the International Transport Forum (ITF) released the report “Good to Go? Assessing the Environmental Performance of New Mobility,” which evaluated the environmental impacts of emerging transportation modes. Over the past four years, there has been a substantial increase in data and understanding regarding the environmental implications of micromobility, and significant strides have been made to mitigate its environmental footprint.

    The ITF’s latest report builds upon the 2020 study, incorporating newly available evidence, a survey of industry stakeholders, and recent publications. This update aims to provide fresh insights and actionable recommendations for both regulatory authorities and micromobility operators to further enhance the environmental performance of micromobility solutions.

    The updated report leverages a detailed lifecycle environmental impact spreadsheet tool, which includes comprehensive calculations, input factors, and sources utilized for this analysis. This tool is instrumental in offering precise and transparent assessments of the environmental impacts associated with micromobility.

    Key Insights and Recommendations

    Greener Micromobility in Practice:
    Micromobility, which includes modes such as e-scooters and shared bicycles, has become increasingly sustainable. Cycling remains the most eco-friendly mode of urban transportation after walking. The advent of electrification has enabled cyclists to cover greater distances, further promoting the use of bicycles over less environmentally friendly transport options.

    Sustainable Vehicle Design:
    Significant advancements have been made in the design of shared micromobility vehicles, resulting in lower lifecycle environmental impacts. Innovations in vehicle durability, modularity, and ease of repair have extended the operational lifetimes of these vehicles, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a per-rider-kilometre basis.

    Enhanced Fleet Operations:
    Operational efficiencies have been achieved through the adoption of swappable, higher-capacity batteries, which minimize the environmental impacts of fleet recharging. Additionally, the use of cargo bikes for fleet servicing and improved logistical strategies for maintenance, repair, and repositioning have contributed to greener operations. While the electrification of servicing vans plays a role, its impact is comparatively minor.

    For a more detailed discussion on these findings, readers are encouraged to join the upcoming “Ask the Author” webinar, where the report’s authors will delve into the nuances of the study and answer questions from participants. Further details about the Micromobility: Back to the Future project can also be explored for those interested in the broader context of these developments.


    The progress in the environmental performance of micromobility over the past four years highlights the sector’s potential for contributing to sustainable urban transport. Through continued innovation and strategic improvements, micromobility can further reduce its environmental footprint, making cities greener and more efficient.

    Sign up here to attend the Ask the Author webinar and learn more about these important advancements in micromobility.

    View the report in pdf

  3. Over half of Dutch people ride an e-bike, survey shows

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    Source: Nieuwsfiets

    Recent study reveals that 54% of Dutch people ride an electric bicycle

    Various insights into the behaviour and attitudes of Dutch cyclists are available in the results of research commissioned by Netherlands-based e-bike refurbishers Upway.

    The online survey, conducted by research agency iVOX between May 8 and May 17, 2024, gathered answers to a range of questions from 2,000 Dutch people on a variety of cycling-related topics. A number of insights can be gleaned from the results:

    Age: 61% of people over the age of 55 choose an e-bike, while for those under 35 the figure is 51%.

    Ownership and frequency: 54% of Dutch people currently use an e-bike, with 39% doing so at least weekly.

    Stated preferences for e-bikes: 32% of respondents cite ease of use; 20% answered ‘Because it gets me to my destination faster’; 25% answered ‘because I can cover greater distances with it’.

    Cargo bike usage: Of those surveyed, 7% rode an electric cargo bike, and 4% rode a non-electric version. Riders of electric cargo bikes cited two notable reasons for their use: 22% said ‘Because it is economically more advantageous than a car’, while 19% said ‘Because it is so easy to use’.

    Cycling infrastructure: Overall, the respondents are generally positive towards the cycling-friendliness and layout of roads in their area, with 77% reporting a positive opinion, though cargo bike users are a little more critical with 61% having a positive opinion.

    Feelings of safety: 94% of e-bike riders reported feeling safer than average in traffic, while 57% of these said they feel safer on an electric bike than on a traditional bike. In contrast, 80% of traditional-cycle riders felt safest on a non-electric bike.

    Risk-taking behaviour: Only 10% of Dutch people say they always wear a helmet when cycling. 36% of e-bike riders ignore a red light – more often than non-electric bike riders. Dangerous situations involving electric bicycle users involve excessive speed (31%), inattention (15%) or lack of control (13%), while tradtional bike riders sometimes create dangerous situations by violating traffic rules (21%), inattention (28%) or cycling where it is not allowed (11%).

  4. Knowledge Institute for Mobility research predicts continued rise for e-bike sales

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    The share of e-bike kilometers in the total number of bicycle kilometers will continue to increase in the coming years, reaching 45 percent in 2028. The total number of bicycle kilometers is expected to increase by 13 percent between 2022 and 2028. This is evident from scientific research by the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy (KiM).

    Source: Fietsberaad CROW

    To predict the share of e-bike kilometers, KiM researchers used data from the Research on Travel in the Netherlands (OViN) from 2013-2017 and Onderweg in Nederland (ODiN) from 2018-2022. The analysis shows a clear growth in the use of e-bikes in the coming years: from 36 percent of the number of bicycle kilometers in 2022 to 45 percent in 2028. The corona pandemic appears to have accelerated the growth in the share of e-bike kilometers. The total cycling distance will grow by 13 percent between 2022 and 2028 and this is mainly a result of an increase in the number of e-bike kilometers – the number of cycling kilometers on a regular bicycle will even decrease by 4 percent during that period.

    The differences between the age groups are large. In 2028, the share of e-bikes among young people aged 12-17 years will be 30 percent, and among elderly people aged 70 and older it will be 75 percent. In general, the share of e-bikes increases with age. Only the group of 12-17 year olds is slightly higher than the groups of 18-24 years and 25-29 years.

    Figure: Trend share of e-bike kilometers in total number of bicycle kilometers for different ages. The black dots represent the data, the black lines the growth trend taking into account Covid-19 and delivery delays and the gray lines the growth trend without taking those influences into account. (Source: Huang et al. (2024) )

    There is also a clear gender difference in e-bike use. In general, men cycle more kilometers by bicycle, but women travel more e-bike kilometers and e-bike rides than men. Women have a higher share of e-bike kilometers in all age groups. Above the age of thirty, the difference will decrease slightly in the coming years. The difference is increasing among younger cyclists, except in the group of 18-24, where more e-bike kilometers are expected among men in the coming years.

    In a second study, KiM investigated the potential of the e-bike to reduce and replace car use based on data from the Mobility Panel Netherlands and ODiN. The results predict a moderate shift in the mobility pattern. The increased e-bike kilometers seem to mainly replace bicycle kilometers. But above 7 kilometers this shift is less noticeable and the e-bike may actually replace the car. E-bike rides may also replace public transport rides and rides as a car passenger, but this could not be determined based on the available data.The results of the research were published in April in the scientific journal.

    Journal of Cycling and Micromobility Research .

  5. New bicycle chair starts in February

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    Source: Fiets Berad

    Cycling professor, Dr. Meredith Glaser, appointed as academic expert for more and safer bicycle traffic in Flanders

    Dr. Meredith Glaser, an expert in sustainable mobility from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), has been appointed as the inaugural chair holder for the newly established Bicycle Chair at Ghent University. This initiative, spearheaded by Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters, aims to bolster Flanders’ ambitious cycling policy with academic knowledge and insights.

    The significance of cycling as a mode of transportation has increased significantly in recent years, accompanied by substantial investments in cycling infrastructure in Flanders. To further support this positive trend with scientific research, a new Bicycle Chair will be launched at Ghent University, with financial and substantive support from the Flemish government. The academic work that the chair will produce this is will contribute to mobility policy and social debate on bicycle mobility in Flanders. Dr. Meredith Glaser, the appointed chair holder, will engage in various course units at Ghent University and work closely with stakeholders involved in Flemish cycling policy.

    Dr. Meredith Glaser: Internationally Renowned Cycling Expert

    Dr. Glaser, an American with approximately 15 years of experience in spatial planning, transport, and mobility, brings a wealth of expertise to her new role. Having earned her master’s degree in urban planning and public health from the University of California Berkeley, and her doctorate in spatial planning from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), she has established herself as a leading figure in the field. Dr. Glaser currently serves as the executive director of the non-profit organization Urban Cycling Institute and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Society & Behavior at the UvA. Her collaboration with renowned Dutch cycling expert Prof. Dr. Marco te Brömmelstroet underscores her international standing in the realm of cycling policy.

    Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters expressed her enthusiasm for Dr. Glaser’s appointment, highlighting the need for robust research and scientific insights to advance cycling policy in Flanders. Dr. Glaser herself emphasized the growing recognition of cycling’s potential to address various societal challenges, stressing the importance of translating academic research into tangible policy initiatives.

    Prof. Frank Witlox of the Geography Department at Ghent University praised Dr. Glaser’s credentials and expressed anticipation for their collaboration, emphasizing her profound dedication to the field of cycling.

    Elevating Cycling Policy through Scientific Research

    As a part-time visiting professor, Dr. Glaser will conduct scientific research on several specific themes, including bicycle safety, influencing bicycle behaviour and use, and the development of smart technology to enhance cycling comfort and safety. These themes have been selected in consultation with a supervisory committee comprising representatives from Ghent University, the Department of Mobility and Public Works, and the knowledge center Fietsberaad Vlaanderen.

    Financial support from the Flemish government

    Financial backing from the Flemish government has facilitated the establishment of the Bicycle Chair, situated within the Geography department of Ghent University’s Faculty of Science. The chair, set for a three-year tenure, comprises the appointment of a part-time visiting professor and a half-time scientific employee. The initiative receives a subsidy of a maximum €249,999 from the Flemish government to sustain its operations and cover the wage costs of employees.

    What is a chair?

    Companies, organizations, or individuals that want to finance scientific research or education on specific themes can do so through a chair. It is a form of collaboration with the university on new developments in domains that are important to society.

  6. Newly-sold passenger vehicles are getting one centimetre wider every 2 years

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    Unchecked, expanding car sizes are becoming too wide for standard street parking

    In a recent revelation, Transport & Environment’s (T&E) research exposes a concerning trend in the automotive industry: new cars in Europe are widening by 1 cm every two years. The primary driver behind this expansion is the soaring popularity of SUVs. The widening trend poses a significant challenge to urban spaces, with over 50% of new vehicles becoming too wide for standard on-street parking.

    As of the first half of 2023, the average width of new cars reached 180.3 cm, a noticeable increase from 177.8 cm in 2018. T&E warns that without legislative intervention, this trend is poised to persist, as current regulations allow new cars to match the width of trucks. The consequences are evident in major cities like London, Paris, and Rome, where 52% of the top 100 car models sold in 2023 exceeded the minimum specified on-street parking space of 180 cm.

    Large luxury SUVs, in particular, showcase remarkable growth, with the Land Rover Defender expanding by 20.6 cm in six years and the Mercedes X5 by 6 cm. This widening phenomenon not only reduces road space for other vehicles and cyclists but also endangers pedestrians. Crash data reveals a 30% higher risk of fatalities in collisions involving vehicles with increased height.

    Recognizing the severity of the issue, several European cities have already implemented stricter parking rules for SUVs. Paris is taking a pioneering step by proposing a referendum to triple parking fees for heavy cars, with a recent poll indicating strong support from around two-thirds of Parisians.

    T&E advocates for a comprehensive approach to address this challenge. They call for a review of the maximum width of new cars by EU lawmakers during upcoming legislative updates. Additionally, city authorities are urged to implement parking charges and tolls based on vehicle size and weight, ensuring that larger vehicles contribute more for utilizing valuable urban space.

    The widening of cars may seem like a subtle shift, but its impact on urban life is substantial. As Parisians prepare to vote on February 4th, they have a unique opportunity to set a precedent that could influence other European cities to prioritize pedestrian safety, reduce congestion, and create more sustainable urban environments. The call for legislative action is clear – it’s time to curb the widening of cars and preserve our urban spaces for the benefit of all citizens.

  7. 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  8. Research assesses physical activity levels of bike, e-bike and e-scooter trips

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    A study published in the Journal of Transport and Health reveals micromobility patterns in the city of Barcelona, Spain, by assessing physical activity levels associated with bike, e-bike and e-scooter usage.

    Conventional bikes and e-bikes are the most active transport mode for health benefits.

    To examine the physical activity and health benefits for each travel mode, researchers Bretones, Miralles-Guasch, and Marquet, measured the amount of energy used by riders as METs (Metabolic Equivalents of Tasks). Findings showed that energy conversion with all micromobility modes was 2.47 and 2.65 METs (under specified real time and traffic related conditions, respectively).

    Out of all vehicle modes, E-scooters received the lowest energy conversion, with 2.20 METs on average, with researchers recognising the physical activity level required for it as being similar to that of automobile trips. Results also revealed that a minute of riding a conventional bike achieves 28% more physical activity than that of riding an e-scooter, with a difference of only 1.4% between electric scooters and e-bikes.

    In terms of distribution for physical activity, the study states that e-scooter usage patterns showed intermittent peaks of physical activity with extended sedentary periods, while e-bikes and bicycles had a more even distribution, with more intense bursts of exercises during these trips.

    The results revealed non-electric, conventional bikes as having the highest energy expenditure, with researchers highlighting both conventional and electric bikes as being key transport modes to help improve public health benefits through physical activity.

    Vehicle usage in distance and location context

    E-scooter trips covered shorter distances (1.96 km) compared to the mean distance covered by other modes of micromobility (2.28 km). The article does acknowledge that e-scooters can be a great transport replacement for more sedentary travel, such as private vehicles, and recognises that in the context of dense and compact cities like Barcelona, the short journeys that e-scooters tend to cover are often already undertaken by walking or biking.

    The researchers indicate that this study can be a useful source to help improve public health policy, and suggests that e-scooter and bike sharing should be further promoted to replace car usage, thus helping to maximize health benefits for citizens.

  9. 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.

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