Electric bike trials in Australia see 50% purchase rate and change in transport habits

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Two ten week trials of electric bikes in Australia have resulted in a 50% uptake, with users reporting savings of around $530 over the hire.

Sixty people in Perth and Albany were granted use of e-bikes in a study conducted by the RAC, the first run in 2015 and the latter late in 2016. Post-trial surveys have since returned some startling results, including news that around half have since purchased their own electric bike.

Almost half of work trips completed by electric bike in the Albany trial, starting at a 60% peak in the first week and sustaining to 28% by week nine of the trial. (Time of year nor weather indication were cited). The majority suggested at the end of trials that they would be recommending electric bikes to friends and family.

Resulting in reduced rate of car use and therefore petrol expense, it was calculated that users saved a combined $18,000 over the ten week trial. Some 1,300 car trips were said to have been saved, while over 3,000 trips were made via the bike fleet.

According to Bicycle Industries Australia around 1.2 million bikes are sold in Australia annually at present, but just a small fraction are electric.

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Photo: RAC