Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 33

July 2017| 33 Most of the participants in the test group (72 percent) had used the bike primarily for work trips. A total of 77 percent stated that the e-bike had made them cycle more often than before and 56 percent said that the bike meant that they rode longer trips than before. The extra power from the engine was mostly used to ride faster uphill. The second way it was exploited was to cycle as before, but with less energy consumption. One thing that really changed was the participants’ willingness to pay. This increased by more than , Norwegian Kroner (NOK), from approximately NOK 2,600 to around NO , . This change was significantly greater than the change we saw in the control group. So, letting people try an e-bike can be a simple, but effective strategy to get more people to buy them, and subsequently to get more people to use bicycles on their daily travels.. Our second study was aimed at confirming these results and in studying the effects of the e-bike on physical activity levels. Again, we found that the total cycling activity increased. For 45 people who had purchased an e-bike, the increase was from minutes to minutes per week. For the group of mainly physically inactive (28 people) that were recruited through the NGO (FIVH), the increase was even larger, from 24 minutes to 235 minutes per week. In the comparison group, there was no change in cycling activity. We measured physical activity from three statements based on the International Physical Activity Questionnaire A . To explore changes in overall physical activity, we aggregated values for total moderate physical activity (cycling for transport, walking activity and other MPA) and values for total vigorous physical activity (cycling for exercise and other VPA). 700 600 121.7 500 400 140.6 168.4 157.1 335.9 326.8 109.6 300 413.6 200 300.6 221.5 100 0 486.0 32.7 T0 T1 Customers T0 T1 FIVH Total MPA T0 T1 Control Total VPA Figure 3: Total physical activity levels for the three groups at baseline (T0) and follow-up (T1) The overall physical activity expressed as minutes per week) changed for both the customers and the FIVH group. For the group of customers, only the change in moderate physical activity was significant, which was as expected since this is the level of exercise that an e-bike typically lends itself to. In the FIVH group, both changes in M A and A were significant. The control group had no changes in levels of physical activity. Our final study was also the largest. Again, the ob ective was to confirm our results, this time with a quite large sample size and with more objective data. Also, we wanted to learn if the kind of people who were attracted to e-bikes by a subvention program differed to those we had previously studied, and if the e-bike had a different effect on this group. inally, we wanted to see if the positive effects the e-bike had on cycling activity lasted. We spilt our sample of participants into different groups those who had no e-bike those who had applied and not yet bought an e-bike and those who had bought an e-bike. We also divided the latter group further, according to how long people had owned the e-bike some participants had bought an e-bike prior to the subvention program). Figure 4 shows how the total number of kilometres travelled could be distributed for different user groups. The data came from a travel app sense. AT that automatically records all travel activity. Data was collected for a month. In total, 700 people used the app and some , different ourneys were recorded. 100% 1% 1% 1% 90% 15% 16% 13% 0% 10% 11% 1% 11% 68% 68% 2% 3% 12% 80% 70% 60% 50% 66% 71% 69% 73% 63% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 4% 14% No ebike 4% 5% 5% 13% 4% 3% 3% 15% 15% 17% 4% 19% Not bought yet Ebike <10 days Ebike <20 days Ebike <40 days Ebike <60 days Ebike +60 days Bicycle Foot Car/MC Public transport Other Figure 4: Mode share (kilometres) for trips by different user groups. Percent. Approximately two thirds of all journeys (measured as kilometres) covered in the period were taken by car. or trips conducted prior to having bought an e-bike, as much as percent were taken by car and five percent were taken by bicycle. The cycling share then increased according to the length of ownership, up to a maximum of 19 percent for those who had owned an e-bike for more than days. The increase was mirrored in a decreased share of car use. We could not see any difference in cycling activity between those who had been motivated to buy the e-bike by the subvention and those who had payed full price.