Commuting by e-bike: a mixed methods approach

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


The introduction of the e-bike is one of the most important developments in transportation in recent years. When substituting for use of cars and public transportation, it can play an important role in the development of sustainable transport systems that support active, healthy lifestyles. However, little is known on the effects of e-bike adoption on travel behavior and mobility. To gain insight into this, we tracked outdoor movement with GPS of 20 e-bike commuters in the north of the Netherlands for two weeks. The movement patterns were analyzed and mapped, and used as input for follow-up in-depth interviews for a detailed assessment of overall travel behavior. In the interviews, we discussed current travel behavior relative to travel behavior prior to e-bike adoption. Preliminary analysis of the GPS data tracking shows that a considerable amount of commuting trips was done by e-bike, although alternated with car and bus. Adopting an e-bike did not significantly affect travel distance, but impacted travel times. The in-depth interviews suggest that for most participants, adoption of the e-bike meant a re-evaluation of factors in mode choice such as safety, reliability, speed, ease, comfort and travel experience. Speed played a less important role than expected, while physical activity and an enjoyable experience constitute main motivators for using the e-bike. In general, our results confirm that e-bikes can (partially) replace conventional commuting modes such as cars and public transportation, providing support for further development of e-bike mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2016
EventRGS-IBG Conference - Royal Geographic Society, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30-Aug-20162-Sep-2016


ConferenceRGS-IBG Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • e-bike
  • cycling
  • commuting
  • travel behaviour
  • mode choice
  • the Netherlands

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