A new national survey has found that 50 per cent of Britons feel that e-bikes are the most 'natural' car replacement. The poll, conducted by cycle advocacy campaign Bike is Best, revealed that 69 per cent are reconsidering their travel habits due to the cost of living crisis with 84 per cent planning to drive a lot less.
Bike is Best’s nationally representative survey of 2,000 people found that 86 per cent cited saving money as a motivation for change with 87 per cent seeing the bicycle as a way to help with cost of living issues.
However, while half the population sees the e-bike as the most natural car replacement, 41 per cent point to cost as a reason for not getting one.
France is now offering a €4,000 e-bike subsidy to people who trade in their car and Bike is Best founder Adam Tranter called for a similar incentive to be introduced in the UK.
“I want to acknowledge that both the pandemic and now the chronic squeeze on personal finances are horrible situations, but my hope is that something good – call it a silver lining – can be the sustained growth of cycling for everyday transport and the cycling industry as a whole needs to act now.
“The general public’s knowledge, awareness and desire for e-bikes is there. This is borne out by 50 per cent of UK adults declaring that an e-bike is the most natural car replacement. Another really encouraging figure is that 87 per cent of people feel that using a bicycle can help with the cost of living.
“Despite this, the potential demand is being stifled as 41 per cent of people think e-bikes are too expensive. There is a clear affordability issue and it’s not hard to see why, when people have got used to driving £40k cars for a relatively small down payment and £300 a month.
“Government policy can be a great way of lowering cost barriers to entry, just like the €4k subsidy scheme in France. Let’s hope the British government follows suit. The opportunity now for the cycling industry is to repackage bicycle ownership to help remove cost perception barriers.”