Age and attitude: Changes in cycling patterns of different e-bike user segments

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    The use and purchase of electric bicycles (e-bikes) is emerging in many countries. Existing knowledge about changes in cycling patterns and car replacement after gaining e-bike access is limited and partly contradictory. Based on an online survey among e-bike users in Denmark (N = 427), this study looked into these effects by differentiating between different segments of e-bike users. We distinguished four age groups as well as three segments based on cycling attitudes and motives for the use and purchase of e-bikes: (1) enthusiastic e-bikers who showed the most positive attitudes towards e-bikes and mainly bought an e-bike to increase cycling frequency; (2) utilitarian e-bikers who already cycled regularly before having access to an e-bike and used the e-bike particularly for practical purposes and to reduce travel time; (3) recreational e-bikers who were very positive about e-bike use but used it less regularly and mainly for long-distance recreational trips. Enthusiastic e-bikers reported the highest increase in overall cycling. Half of the enthusiastic e-bikers agreed that they bought the e-bike to replace a car. Differences between the four age groups were less pronounced. Nevertheless, we found that e-bike access decreased age differences in self-reported cycling frequency, whereas it increased differences in self-reported distances. Measures to increase e-bike use should primarily focus on potential enthusiastic e-bikers. Possible interventions include promotional campaigns at workplaces, intended to address not only instrumental but also affective motives of e-bike use.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)836-846
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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