Industry Stakeholder Perspectives on the Adoption of Electric Bicycles in British Columbia

Electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) are an emerging mode of transportation that offers a sustainable alternative to automobile use in urban areas. Past research on e-bike adoption has focused on user perspectives. Understanding other stakeholder perspectives is also essential to implementing effective e-bike policy. The objectives of this research are to identify alignments and misalignments in perspectives on e-bike adoption across industry stakeholders in British Columbia (BC), including e-bike retailers, manufacturers, cycling coalitions, and government agencies, and to provide recommendations for e-bike policy that account for those perspectives. An online survey was distributed to industry stakeholders to examine perceived barriers to adoption, expected impacts of adoption, and effects of policy on adoption. Questions about regulations discriminated between five e-bike types: pedal-assist, throttle-assist, scooter-style, electric recumbents, and enclosed electric recumbents. Results indicate strong agreement among industry stakeholders that scooter-style e-bikes require separate and additional regulation from other types of e-bikes and from existing regulation in BC. In contrast, there was misalignment in the expected mode shift resulting from e-bike adoption, with government agencies least optimistic about diversion of automobile trips. Industry stakeholders broadly agreed on the need for speed regulation and viewed higher speeds as one of the least important benefits of e-bikes, which contrasts with past research on user perspectives. Policy recommendations include reclassifying scooter-style e-bikes, rebate or tax programs to reduce e-bike costs, further research on optimal e-bike speed limits, and continued support for improvements in general cycling infrastructure (a top priority for industry and user stakeholders).


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  • Accession Number: 01701658
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-00466
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 25 2019 10:44AM