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Electric bikes on the increase across Europe

As Europeans adapt to huge changes in their daily lives to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, e-bikes can play a big part in everyone’s future, according to a report commissioned by Shimano.

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More than a quarter of respondents said they would use their e-bike to commute
More than a quarter of respondents said they would use their e-bike to commute

Nearly one fifth of Europeans (17 per cent) report they are more likely to buy or use an e-bike this year, compared to the previous 12 months, a new study finds.

 

Commissioned by Japanese multinational cycling component manufacturer Shimano, 13,000 people from 11 countries were quizzed for the pan-European report which also found 8 per cent of respondents already own an e-bike. Furthermore, 11 per cent of the potential e-bike users reckon they currently never use a normal bike.

 

2020 index

 

The Shimano Steps e-bike Index 2020 indicates that the UK is out of step with its European counterparts with the smallest amount of individuals saying they will try an e-bike (7 per cent) compared with one in three in Italy (30 per cent) stating they would buy or use an e-bike this year.

 

In some countries including Denmark and Switzerland, the report notes “promising signs” among the younger generation as 18-24-year-olds have said they are more likely to use one than any other age groups.

 

As Europeans adapt to huge changes in their daily lives to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, e-bikes can play a big part in everyone’s future, the report claims.

 

As to why there is a shift towards e-bikes, the benefits affecting the physical activity and health of individuals is almost universally recognised. One third (31 per cent) of those who were likely to use or already owned one say they would mainly use an e-bike for leisure or family activities, suggesting that an e-bike’s appeal isn’t just limited to commuting – although more than a quarter (28 per cent) would use their e-bike to commute.

 

A similar amount (32 per cent) have said they would buy or use an e-bike this year to conquer longer distances or steeper climbs, and many would use one to improve their physical health (30 per cent) and mental health (22 per cent).

“Making that leap from a regular bicycle, or from other private or public transport methods towards an e-bike is a decision that can be affected by many different factors”

In several countries, reasons for using an e-bike differ quite dramatically. In the Netherlands – where more four-fifths of the population (78 per cent) ride a bike at least once a month – the main reason given by those wanting to ride an e-bike this year (39 per cent) was because it looks like less effort.

 

“Making that leap from a regular bicycle, or from other private or public transport methods towards an e-bike is a decision that can be affected by many different factors. Not least the way in which we can now travel across towns and cities throughout Europe,” said Jeroen Van Vulpen, brand manager, Shimano.

 

“From buses to trains and ferries, public transport has been affected and personal space is in high demand, bringing increasing interest to the e-bike market. This report goes some way to shedding light on those factors.”

 

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