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Who uses e-bikes in the UK and why?

Melia, Steven; Bartle, Caroline


Steven Melia
Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning

Caroline Bartle
Senior Research Fellow in Local Sustain Transport


This article reports on the findings of a survey of 2,092 users and potential users of e-bikes in the UK. It analysed their characteristics, their motivations, journey purposes and the barriers they perceive to the wider use of e-bikes. It compared the profiles of male and female users, and the differences in their use. It also compared respondents’ experience of e-biking and conventional cycling. It found that most e-bike users also rode conventional cycles. Physical and health constraints were common reasons for switching to e-bikes, particularly for hilly routes. Those who always commute by e-bike were most likely to have used a conventional cycle as their main commute mode in the past, whereas those who mostly or occasionally commute by e-bike were more likely to have used a car as their previous main commute mode. The minority of female respondents were younger than the men but gender differences in e-bike use were fewer than expected. The quality and availability of separate cycling infrastructure was frequently cited as an enabler or a barrier, suggesting that policies to promote cycling in general will also apply to e-bikes.


Melia, S., & Bartle, C. (in press). Who uses e-bikes in the UK and why?. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 29, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 13, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2022
Journal International Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Print ISSN 1556-8318
Electronic ISSN 1556-8334
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords e-bikes, pedelecs, cycling and gender, e-bike commuting, work use of e-bikes
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This file is under embargo until Jul 30, 2022 due to copyright reasons.

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