E-Bikes in the United States

October 18, 2013 12:00 pm - October 18, 2013 1:00 pm

Where: Room 204 of the Distance Learning Center Wing of the Urban Center on the Portland State University campus
Speaker: John MacArthur, Sustainable Transportation Program Manager, OTREC at PSU
Topic: E-Bikes in the United States

Summary: Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are well established in China and other Asian and European countries but have yet to realize their potential in the United States, although recently the number of e-bikes has been growing. Research on the economic, operational, and safety issues of e-bikes in the U.S. is limited. This research aims in part to understand if different bicycling technology, in this case electric assist bicycles or e-bikes, can reduce barriers to bicycling and encourage more bike trips and longer bike trips, and increase the diversity of people bicycling, including people with a disability or chronic injury to bicycle. Some of these barriers include trip distance, topography, time, and rider effort. E-bikes typically resemble a standard pedal bicycle with the addition of a rechargeable battery and electric motor to assist the rider with propulsion. To answer these questions, we conducted an online survey of existing e-bike users on their purchase and use decisions. Results from 553 e-bike users across North America are analyzed here. Results suggest that e-bikes are enabling users to bike more often, to more distant locations, and to carry more cargo with them. Additionally, e-bikes allow people who would otherwise not be able to bike because of physical limitations or proximity to locations, the ability to bike with electric assist.
Stream the seminar live or watch an archived video, when made available, through the link here.
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