Usage Patterns of Electric Bicycles: An Analysis of the WeBike Project

This paper presents an analysis of data collected through the Waterloo WeBike project: a field trial in which over 30 sensor-equipped electric bicycles (e-bikes) were given to members of the University of Waterloo for personal use. The dataset includes e-bike trips and battery charging sessions spanning nearly three years, from summer 2014 until spring 2017. The authors also conducted three surveys both before and during the trial. The main findings were that the primary purpose of the e-bikes in the trial was for commuting, with most trips lasting less than 20 minutes and most trips taking place in the summer months. The battery charging analysis revealed no evidence of range anxiety, and the analysis of survey results showed little correlation between anticipated and actual use. Furthermore, when asked about their opinions about various modes of transportation, the participants rated regular bicycles higher than e-bikes even after becoming familiar with e-bikes through the field trial. Based on the analysis, the authors draw several conclusions, including the fact that the general population in Canada is still unaware of e-bikes and their potential. Moreover, e-bike manufacturers should target sales to nonbike users, such as seniors, rather than trying to displace sales of regular bicycles.


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  • Accession Number: 01666164
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2018 11:32AM