Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 30

30 | Cycling World Studies into E-Bike Usage Written by Aslak Fyhri and Hanne Beate Sundfør, Institute of Transport Economics I n several European countries, sales of electric bicycles have grown tremendously in recent years. In Norway, with theirr steep slopes, sales figures have lagged. To gain more knowledge about why this is the case, in , the nstitute of Transport conomics started a research program us ing a combination of data collection methods (surveys and mobile apps) and study designs cross-sectional studies and experimental designs . Among the research questions they addressed were: • What are the characteristics of potential customers? What role can e-bikes play in overcoming people s barriers to cycling? ow much increased cycling can e-bikes lead to, and to what extent can they help to reduce motori ed traffic What are the effects of e-bikes on overall physical activity levels? Nearly ten thousand people were interviewed about their perceptions of cycling in general, and e-bikes in particular. rom this, we learned that the e-bike primarily seemed to attract those who cycle the least. Those who do not cycle at all were a little less interested than those who were infrequent cyclists see igure . This can be taken as an indication that e-bikes are unlikely to lead to a large reduction in normal cycling, but that they are more likely to result in shifting people away from using motorised transport. Yes, absolutely Yes, maybe 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 23% 22% 24% 20% 10% 5% 0% 10% 11% 5% 0 km 7% 0.1 to 5 km 5% 5.1 to 10 km 2% 3% 2% 10.1 to 20 km 20.1 to 30 km Over 30 km Figure 1: interest in buying an e-bike according to weekly cycling length. Percent. Interestingly, those who were willing to pay more for an