A new pan-European report from Shimano has revealed that almost a quarter of Europeans (24%) already own an e-bike or plan to buy or rent one this year.
The Shimano Steps E-bike Index 2020 draws data from over 13,000 people in 11 countries and aims not only to compare attitudes towards e-bikes across Europe, but also to explore the barriers to widespread adoption and the reasons people are increasingly turning to e-bikes for commuting, leisure and transportation.
Just 7% of people UK participants were open to trying an e-bike – the lowest national average in the report – while 30% of Italian residents said they would buy or use an e-bike this year. In Denmark, Switzerland and the UK, there are promising signs for a greener future with 18-24-year-olds the most likely to take up usage.
There are still plenty of minds to be changed; 19% still doubt that e-bikes can raise fitness levels. However, a third (32%) said they would use e-bikes to conquer longer distances or steeper climbs, while many would use them to improve their physical (30%) and mental (22%) health.
31% of those who were likely to use or already owned one said they would mainly use an e-bike for leisure or family activities, while 28% would use it for commuting.
There is also a nod to environmental reasons for using an e-bike. One in five (18%) adults in the countries surveyed say they are likely to start using an e-bike because they are concerned about the environmental impact of their travel. With young adults (18-24), this rises to over a quarter (26%).
“From adventurous mountain bikers to urban commuters, there is now an e-bike for everyone”, said Jeroen Van Vulpen, brand manager from Shimano. “We see that e-bikes will continue to become a desirable option for people who want to get outdoors and ride for fun, for fitness or for an affordable and more environmentally-conscious commute.
“Making that leap from a regular bicycle, or from other private or public transport methods towards an e-bike is a decision that can be affected by many different factors. Not least the way in which we can now travel across towns and cities throughout Europe.
“From buses to trains and ferries, public transport has been affected and personal space is in high demand, bringing increasing interest to the e-bike market. This report goes some way to shedding light on those factors. It will undoubtedly contribute to our own learning and we sincerely hope everyone interested in e-bikes can learn from it too.”