Electric bikes can improve air quality through ultra-low emission commuting, support healthy lifestyles, and open access to opportunities.They can achieve this by attracting a wider range of people cycling and increasing the number of trips people can make by bike.
The Shared Electric Bike Programme installed electric bikes in eleven projects across England and studied how these bikes were used. Our findings highlighted the opportunity to widen the appeal of cycling to those who don’t wish to or cannot ride a standard bike.
The data from 2,286 participants who made 11,702 journeys cycled over 27,000 miles showing that electric bikes can enable healthy, flexible, low cost travel for all abilities, in hilly areas and for longer distances without the need for too much exertion or ‘cycling clothes’.
- Electric bikes can attract new riders: One in three of the people using the Shared Electric Bike Programme bikes had rarely or never cycled before they started using the shared electric bikes
- Electric bikes can improve health and well-being: Regular riders reported that when riding an electric bike, 58% felt happier and 41% felt healthier.
- Electric bikes can enable new types of utility cycling trips: The average length of trips switched is 5 miles, compared to 3 miles by traditional bikes.
- Electric bikes can reduce car use: In one commuter scheme 46% of regular shared electric bike trips were previously made by private car as a passenger, driver or in a taxi.
- 2,667 participants made 11,702 journeys travelling 27,431 miles.
- Explore the potential for of increasing e-bike (and pedal bike) availability at more rail stations, travel hubs and accommodation networks across the UK.
- Bridge strategic development and delivery with the health sector around e-bikes
- Open up funding from the OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to include e-bikes alongside electric vehicles.
- Develop a strategic national programme of try-before-you-buy for e-bikes.
- Update the cycle-to-work scheme so that it encourages people to acquire e-bikes.
- Evidence and further research
Shared Electric Bike Programme Projects
Eleven schemes, selected by Carplus Bikeplus for funding from the Department for Transport, delivered 188 electric bikes with 217 tracked.