TRANSPORTATION REASEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER
John MacArthur, Portland State University
Christopher Cherry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Electric bicycle (e-bike) use is a rising phenomenon in North America, as a growing number of manufacturers produce a variety of bicycles which can accommodate the needs of diverse populations. With the growth of the e-bike industry, e-bike users are an increasingly integral part of both the transportation network and recreational trail system. However, little research has been conducted on e-bikes within North America, especially on the individuals who have purchased e-bikes.
The first-known survey of e-bike owners in the United States was conducted by Portland State University in 2013. The present study seeks to strengthen our understanding of these issues, and to explore how the findings from the previous study may have changed over time and with the growth in the e-bike industry. Analysis of the survey results indicate that there has been little change in the primary reasons individuals are motivated to purchase an e-bike, and they tend to be related to various barriers which deter individuals from riding a standard bicycle; reducing physical exertion, challenging topography and replacing car trips continue to reign as a few of the most important reasons for buying an e-bike. The findings also reaffirm significant discrepancies in how these barriers are perceived by various subgroups of the population, as defined by the respondents’ age, gender and physical ability.
Through analysis it became evident that e-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle, many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so. Additionally, the electric assist of the e-bike helps to generate more trips, longer trips and different types of bicycle trips. These findings are represented by the high value attributed to being able to avoid or tackle hills easier, ride farther and faster with less effort, and being able to carry more cargo or children when needed.
I would like to start by thanking all our followers across all our media communication services. We at Shoreline Ebikes are very excited to bring you along on our journey and welcome you to the world of electric mobility.
As the founder of Shoreline Ebikes I would like to introduce myself. I’m a busy father of two, a business management consultant by trade and a lover of outdoor sports. Through the years I have participated in sports across all different categories, competitive swimming, triathlons, mountain biking, surfing, diving and sailing among others. I grew up on an island where the outdoors, sea and land were my playground. Growing up as an islander meant that my main mode of transportation was a bicycle, from going to school, the beach to riding with friends. For 15 years my father ran and owned a bicycle repair shop, doing all types of repairs as well as building bespoke bikes. I was the lucky kid with one of the only bicycles on the island where the brakes functioned properly. I was also lucky that, with meticulous guidance of my father, I was also able to work and repair my own bikes and learn how each component was supposed to work. I was always attracted to mechanical movements and design, and I owe this to my passion for bikes.
To provide my kids with a similar upbringing to mine, my family and I relocated to Sarasota, Florida. A beautiful city with amazing beaches across all our shorelines. To me, there is nothing more relaxing than taking a bike ride around our shorelines, getting some fresh air and disconnecting from our daily responsibilities. Unfortunately, doing so has become more challenging and in some cases unsafe even more so for a family of four. Couple that with the limited drivable routes on our keys and the increase in popularity of our beaches, our area is suffering from major traffic congestion. Our residents and visitors are spending a considerable amount of time trying to reach the coastline and when they get there, there is limited parking.
This is where our journey begins, we would like to see our roads used as multifunctional spaces, not just by automobiles. We would like for our visitors and residents of all ages to enjoy our shores in a safe environment and we see electric bikes as a great tool to achieve this. Electric bikes are environmentally friendly, they can be used by all generations including those with certain injuries. Weather wise electric bikes are perfect for our humid and high temperature environment when you need a little brake from pedaling.
I would like for this blog to be a useful resource for us to learn from you, for our readers to interact and learn from each other and discuss all things electric mobility related. We encourage diversity in opinions as we strongly believe that this is how we grow.
I will always be available to answer any questions you might have.
Thank you all,
Electric urban transportation enthusiast.