As e-bike adoption continues to grow, a recent study by Shimano has highlighted that it shows no sign of abating in Europe with 24% saying they already own an e-bike, or are "likely to buy or use" one this year; however it's not looking so good for the UK, with just 7% saying they would like to try an e-bike in the future.
The Shimano STEPS E-bike Index 2020 aims to "compare attitudes towards e-bikes across major European countries and explore what is stopping widespread adoption", and analyse how and why people are switching to e-bikes for commuting, leisure and basic transportation. The report polled 13,000 people from 11 countries across Europe, finding that a quarter own or want to own an e-bike. 11% of people on the 'potentials' list also don't currently own a standard bike, highlighting how e-bikes have become a potential option for people who don't even cycle at all.
While the 7% figure is disappointing for the UK as a whole, the report shows that there are promising signs amongst the younger generation; Brits in the 18-24 age group were the most likely to say they would consider buying or riding an e-bike. Across all nationalities, this age group was also most likely to cite environmental reasons, with 26% of 18-24's saying this was a reason they're likely to start e-biking.
Another less promising stat was the 19% that though their fitness wouldn't improve from riding an e-bike despite evidence to the contrary; however 30% said they would mainly use an e-bike to improve physical health, and 32% said they would buy one to "conquer longer distances or steeper climbs."
Jeroen Van Vulpen of Shimano commented: “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. 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. It will undoubtedly contribute to our own learning and we sincerely hope everyone interested in e-bikes can learn from it too.”
You can download the full Shimano STEPS report here.