A survey of more than 1,000 people in the Netherlands, as part of a larger group of more than 15,500 people in 12 European countries, found that the rising cost of living and subsidies for buying e-bikes are the main factors for people to consider using e-bikes. The survey was commissioned by Shimano, a global manufacturer of bicycle parts and accessories.People in the survey were asked about reasons for currently buying or renting an e-bike. The main motives were found to be the cost of living (53%) and support for purchase costs through an e-bike subsidy (50%).Only 17% consider the improvement of cycling infrastructure as an important factor.However, 37% of people do indicate that the infrastructure in their neighbourhood has improved in the past 12 months. There are differences between provinces in this respect. In Limburg (46%) people are very satisfied with the improvements, but in Flevoland (72%) and Zeeland (61%) residents are not.
Across Europe, economic reasons such as the cost of living (47%) and subsidies for e-bikes (41%) are cited significantly more often than COVID-19 as incentives to increase e-bike use (18%). This is a big difference from last year. Back then, 39% of respondents in Europe said they would consider buying or using an e-bike to avoid public transport for fear of Covid-19. Concern for the environment is seen as a key motivator by 33% of Europeans in the countries surveyed.
To understand the thoughts people have when using e-bikes, Shimano asked the question: who do you think e-bikes are for? This showed that e-bikes in the Netherlands are very strongly associated with seniors (the case at 65%). This is much higher than the 38% average across Europe. E-bikes are also associated with people concerned about the environment (42%) and with commuting (37% ). People in the Netherlands are much more likely than other Europeans to plan to have their bikes serviced: almost half (48%) say they plan to do so in the next 6 months. This is almost double the 25% average across Europe. Over half of those in the Netherlands who plan to service their bike (54%) say they will do so because maintenance is important for the life of the bike. The Netherlands leads the way when it comes to the number of bicycle owners: only 13% say they do not own a bicycle, compared to an average of 41% across Europe.
Jonathan Davis, PR & Communications Manager at Shimano Europe: "We are delighted to present our fourth State of the Nation report. Based on a survey of more than 15,500 people across Europe, our aim is to explore the motivations of e-bike users and gain a better understanding of how people view e-bikes and cycling in general."
"The findings are fascinating and allow us to identify important trends in the market. Public opinion when it comes to e-biking and attitudes towards people riding e-bikes are changing in a positive direction. We hope this report is a useful tool for everyone in the cycling industry and beyond, and that it continues to play a role in further developing the e-bike industry."