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Can electric bikes empower future mobility solutions?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amy Guo



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Electric bikes refer to bicycles that have a small electric motor paired with rechargeable batteries to assist the power provided by the user of the bike. Therefore, it requires less effort when compared to conventional bikes and this has enabled more people to travel further for either business or leisure purposes. For a vehicle to be characterised as an electric bike, it must be able to retain the ability to be pedalled by the user, this is how electric bikes differentiate from electric scooters and motorcycles. In 2016, data from Navigant Research suggests that Asia Pacific were leading by a massive amount (32.8 million) when compared to other regions around the world. This was followed by Western Europe (1.6 million), North America (152k), Latin America (90k), Middle East and Africa (67k) and Eastern Europe (44k). Research has demonstrated significant benefits of bike sharing schemes on health and well-being, model shift, access to jobs, education and amenities, road safety, tourism around cities and the overall economy. E-bikes allow long distance journeys and easy climbing and have the potential to reduce the risk of damaging the rider’s knees and joints. If more people are motivated to cycle instead of driving because of the available and affordable e-bike sharing schemes, energy, money, and journey time can be saved and air quality in cities will be improved. A study has been carried to review existing e-bike sharing schemes and understand the barriers to and potentials of the schemes using data from the UK and China. It is clear that, in the UK, the cost and inconvenience of renting an e-bike are the prominent barriers and the success of such a scheme is in great need of government support. We are in the process of analysing the data, which will be completed and presented in the full paper.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guo W

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Cycling Conference

Year of Conference: 2017

Print publication date: 16/10/2017

Online publication date: 16/10/2017

Acceptance date: 06/10/2017

Date deposited: 16/10/2017

Publisher: Umwelt Bundesamt