A survey conducted by Volt has found that 18 per cent of UK adults are more likely to buy an e-bike now than they were before the pandemic. The firm’s founder and CEO, James Metcalfe, said that the finding really only reflected what the industry already knew – that 2020 brought a huge acceleration in the market.
BikeBiz reports that appetite for e-bikes is greatest in London, where 44 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to buy one for personal transport than before the pandemic.
In Northern Ireland, 25 per cent said they were more likely to buy an e-bike and in Scotland, one in five expressed an interest in purchasing one.
The research also revealed a broader shift away from public transport with 39 per cent of commuters saying they were now less likely to use public transport and 30 per cent more likely to use an e-bike, scooter or bicycle.
Almost half of existing e-bike owners said they planned to use theirs more often post-pandemic.
“This research reflects what we have seen on a daily basis amongst our customers,” commented Metcalfe. “We have been manufacturing e-bikes for over a decade and grown continually throughout that time, but nothing can compare to the acceleration the industry experienced in 2020.
“Before the pandemic, urban transport was at a crisis point. Disgruntled commuters either sat in traffic for hours or paid through the nose for trains that either ran late or not at all. The pandemic provoked a hard reset.
“As people look to return to the office, it is vital that we capitalise on this momentum by creating the infrastructure to support these new swathes of riders and to solidify e-bikes position as the future of transport.
“It is also imperative that the Government does all it can to dissuade those fearful of public transport from hitting the roads in cars. The environment has dramatically benefitted from fewer car journeys during the pandemic, and we encourage everyone about to embark on a journey of five miles or less to look to an e-bike over a car.”
An announcement is due this month with ‘opportunity to try’ schemes in UK holiday destinations also floated as a possible measure to encourage greater uptake.