Consumers buying an e-bike increase their cycling by almost double, according to a new study.
The research, carried out by experts at the Institute of Transport Economics in Oslo, Norway, involved a total of 954 participants, who answered surveys or provided a travel diary to help the researchers track their riding habits.
As the main purpose of the study, the researchers aimed to investigate whether purchasing an e-bike is related to a wider change in cycling, either in kilometres travelled or as a share of their overall transport, when compared with short-term access to e-bikes.
The study revealed that people who purchased an e-bike increased their bicycle use from 2.1km to 9.2km on average, while their use of other modes of transport including walking, public transport and car driving reduced.
Cycling as a share of all kilometres travelled increased from 17 to 49 per cent, after participants had acquired an e-bike.
The study was carried out with participants from Oslo, Norway, where e-bike regulations are in line with those across the EU.
In the conclusion section of the paper, titled ‘Do people who buy e-bikes cycle more?’ and published in the journal Transportation Research, the researchers said: “E-bikes are increasingly turning into an essential part of the urban transport system, and can be an important contribution to reducing environmental impact from transport by shifting people away from motorised transport.
“Our results confirm previous studies, but provides more controlled data about mode change from e-bikes than previously has been shown. People who buy an e- bike have more than a twofold increase in their use of bicycle for daily travel.
“We find that the increased cycling is not just a novelty effect, but appears to be more lasting. Our study thus indicates that policy makers can expect a positive return of policy measures aimed at increasing the uptake of e-bikes, such as subvention schemes etc.”