12 May Report: Speed pedelecs and e-bikes – opportunities for long distance regular commuting by bicycle
Abstract: The research study is based on the experience of 24 employees from 2 different workplaces who tested both types of electric bicycles over a 3 week period. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through questionnaires and feedback sessions. Our findings show the speed pedelec to be the preferred and ideal form of transport with great potential for commuting middle to long distances, in comparison to all other possible modes of transport including cars, regular e-bikes and public transport. Speed pedelecs were found to be fast enough unlike with the regular e-bike for these longer commutes. On average, commute time was significantly lower by speed pedelec. The most important advantage participants identified with commuting by electric bicycle was the sense of freedom experienced. In relation to safety when commuting by speed pedelec, participants felt in control, alert and overall safe. Feedback for improving safety, that this report recommends, includes widening bike paths and adding a designated section for faster bike path users. The biggest limiting factor to participants owning their own speed pedelec was the high purchase price. Suggested subsidies and promotional campaigns would bring about greater access to speed pedelecs.