Read This Before You Buy: What E Bike Owners Have to Say

city hybrid folding e bike

Still on the fence about e bikes? Finally!! A comprehensive electric bike survey for us to work with! Now, we can take a look at what other e bike owners have to say about their experiences. The following post illustrates data from the 2018 survey titled “A North American Survey of Electric Bicycle Owners” by the NITC (National Institute for Transportation and Communities). “The results of this project suggested that e bikes enabled users to bike more often and bike farther. E bikes also gave people who otherwise would not be able to bike (because of physical limitations or locations) the ability to overcome these challenges.”

Read on to find out the statistics behind: what motivated other people to make their e bike purchase, most common usages, where they made their purchase, and more!

Direct quote from the executive summary:

 “Through analysis of the survey responses, 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 overcome hills easier, ride farther and faster with less effort, and being able to carry more cargo or children when needed.”
e bike anywhere

The total number of survey respondents was 1,796- 1,663 from the U.S. and 133 from Canada.

One of the survey respondents noted: “I can take my kids all over the city without having to consider elevation gains, or parking. My children are more involved and social, and interact more.”

How often and for what?

Survey respondents were asked what percent of their weekly trips are made by different modes. The results showed that the e bike was the most common primary mode for commute trips to work or school, as well as exercise and recreational riding! Just take a look at the chart below.




Where’d you get that thing?

A whopping 35.6% of survey respondents indicated that they purchased their e bike online!

What do you look for in an e bike?

Participants noted paying closest attention to characteristics like: battery range, bike type/style and price. Three things we take very seriously here at Powermove E-Bikes.




What about service?

More than 2/3’s of survey respondents (70%) stated that they have not had to have their e bike serviced for an issue related to the battery, motor or electronic system.

Barriers to biking

It’s quite interesting how the top 3 barriers named as standing in the way of more frequent bike trips (hills, distance, and sweat) are all solved by making the switch to e bikes.

Why they buy

Just in case you were wondering what inspired these survey respondents to make their e bike purchase in the first place, the chart below illustrates just that. Top 3 reasons: replacing car trips, ride with less effort, and recreational purposes.

The figure above mentions buying vs converting. An earlier table above (Table 3.3), shows that 78.7% of respondents purchased an e bike vs. the 21.3% that converted their regular bikes to e bikes.
It may be cool at first, but…

Worried that once you get your new e bike, maybe you’ll ride it just a few times, eventually lose excitement and possibly even forget you even own one? That wasn’t an issue with survey respondents, as 49.2% of them state that they ride their electric bikes daily!

In Conclusion

“The survey results affirm previous findings that e bikes have the capacity to mediate some of the barriers of riding a standard bike and can increase ridership and can also increase how often people ride and can replace other modes of transportation (like their car).” Isn’t it nice to gain insight from real e bike owners before making the purchase yourself? For more interesting facts to consider when making your e bike purchase, you can view the entire report by clicking the link below:


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