Harry Leahey

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Up to half of Britons believe that e-bikes are the ‘most natural’ replacement to cars, according to a recent national survey. 

The findings come from Bike is Best, a cycle advocacy campaign which ran the poll. 

Out of the 2,000 people who participated, 86 percent said saving money was a key motivation for change in how they get about, while 87 percent considered the bicycle as a way to save money amid the cost of living crisis. 

Sixty nine percent surveyed said they are reconsidering their travel behaviour, with 84 percent planning on driving a lot less. 

Though half of the UK feel e-bikes are a ‘natural’ replacement to the car, 41 percent said the initial cost for one was the reason stopping the switch. Another factor pointed to road safety, with 38 percent expressing concern for road conditions.

Bike is Best Founder, Adam Tranter said: “I want to acknowledge that both the pandemic and now the chronic squeeze on personal finances are horrible situations, but my hope is that something good, call it a silver lining, can be the sustained growth of cycling for everyday transport and the cycling industry as a whole needs to act now.

“The general public’s knowledge, awareness and desire for e-bikes is there. This is borne out by 50% of UK adults declaring that an e-bike is the most natural car replacement. Another really encouraging figure is that 87% of people feel that using a bicycle can help with the cost of living.

“Despite this, the potential demand is being stifled as 41 per cent of people think e-bikes are too expensive. There is a clear affordability issue and it’s not hard to see why, when people have got used to driving £40k cars for a relatively small down payment and £300 a month.

“Government policy can be a great way of lowering cost barriers to entry, just like the €4k subsidy scheme in France. Let’s hope the British government follows suit. The opportunity now for the cycling industry is to repackage bicycle ownership to help remove cost perception barriers.”

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Harry Leahey 03/01/23