How do we get more people biking and to bike more often? Communities around North America are struggling with this question as they face growing economic, social, health and environmental issues. This webinar aims to explore if adding technology to bicycles can reduce barriers to bicycling (e.g., trip distance, topography, time, and rider effort) and encourage more bicycling trips, longer bicycling trips, and increase the diversity of people bicycling, including people with a disability or chronic injury.
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are well established in China and other Asian and European countries but market adoption has been slow in the United States. E-bikes typically resemble a standard pedal bicycle with the addition of a rechargeable battery and electric motor to assist the rider with propulsion. Though research on the economic, operational, and safety issues of e-bikes in North America is limited, the webinar will present information gathered by PSU researchers on the adoption of e-bikes. Results from an online survey of existing e-bike users on their purchase and use decisions will be presented, which suggest that e-bikes are enabling users to bike more often, to more distant locations, and to carry more cargo with them. Additionally, e-bikes seem to allow people who would otherwise not be able to bike, because of physical limitations or proximity to locations, the ability to bike with electric assist.
What is an e-bike? Who is using these bikes and why? What are the barriers that are preventing broader adoption of this technology? As adoption of e-bikes increases, how should local agencies address the integration of e-bikes with other modes? These questions and more will be explored in this webinar.