In an independent survey of over 12,000 people across ten countries, Shimano's STEPS e-bike division found that the UK lags behind the rest of Europe in our willingness to commute by e-bike - 47% of respondants from the Netherlands said they would consider e-bike commuting, whereas only 11% of Brits would consider making the switch.
We'll assume when Shimano say 'making the switch' they specifically mean from a car to an e-bike, otherwise the excuses from their respondants for not switching such as 'getting sweaty' or 'bad weather' wouldn't make much sense... but anyway, the positive reasons people cited for considering an e-bike commute included keeping fit (34%), protecting the environment (30%) and saving cash (30%). On the flip side, 34% of those who said nay to e-bikes said the cost was actually off-putting... if only they realised how much cheaper they are to run than a car!
The infographic above shows the countried ranked in order of how many would make the e-bike switch. Spain (39%) and Italy (33%) round off the top three, with Sweden coming second to last ahead of the UK.
Jeroen Van Vulpen of Shimano commented: We’re seeing huge growth in the e-bike market across Europe and this research highlights the likelihood of widespread adoption of e-bikes to commute to work in the future.
“We know that there is already a strong cycling culture in specific countries, where those who've made the switch to an e-bike have found that bad weather is rarely an insurmountable problem and sweat is a thing of the past when you let the electric assistance take the strain. It’s really encouraging to see that across all markets, people are willing to switch to an e-bike to keep fit and protect the environment.”
So what do you think... do us Brits (or the ones who answered the survey anyway) need to stop moaning about the weather and get on with it, or is our alarmingly high levels of precipiation a genuine barrier to cycle commuting? Let us know in the comments!