NITC Study Reveals 96.4% Satisfaction In E-bike Ownership

As congestion and air-quality continues to get worse in most large cities, residents are trying to find an alternative to their ever more costly cars. The electric bicycle is fast becoming the stand out solution. In the newly released study, A North American Survey of Electric Bicycle Owners, published by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) finds that 96.4% of their 1800 person sample group of e-bike owners reported that they either agree or strongly agree with the statement “I enjoy my overall riding experience on my e-bike.”

This is high praise, not for a particular brand or model but for the entire e-bike segment. The trend runs across men, women, above and below the age of 55 and with or without physical limitations. This suggests that the electric bicycle is so fun and so satisfying that even the car loving, North American consumer might be enticed out from behind the wheel. Other things owners of e-bikes felt strongly about in big numbers were: …allows me to go farther… (82.6%) …speed and acceleration are exciting… (77.2%) “I ride my E bike more than a standard bicycle because it is fun to ride” (77.1%) and most importantly: “I would rather cycle than drive a car” (75.1%).

The most telling distinction the researchers made was between seldom or infrequent-cyclists who became e-bike owners and frequent cyclists who purchased an E bike. The seldom cyclists overall satisfaction was also extremely high at 95.8%, only slightly less then the frequent cyclists at 96.7%. Seldom cyclists are clearly responding to the pure fun aspect of the electric bicycle with a clear 89.1% reaction to “I ride more…because it’s fun to ride” over the frequent cyclists at 71.7%. The remarkably high satisfaction rates for the seldom users is very encouraging. It is not hard to imagine that someone who has an affinity for cycling to take to the e-bike with out much resistance, but it is a much larger chasm to cross to take someone who has no real connection with cycling, put them on an e-bike, then come back a year later and find that they too are satisfied at nearly the same level as someone with an affinity.

Turning the infrequent rider into the frequent rider is a real accomplishment. It speaks to the genius of the electric bike itself. Owners are taken with the fun and practicality of their bikes and quickly move into the frequent user category and then stay there. There are few products on the market today that have such strong adoption and long term satisfaction rates. As the popularity of e-bikes begins to gain traction it is now clearer than ever that there is a vast market of infrequent-cyclists that will begin adopting and finding great satisfaction in this new technology.

The NITC study takes a deep dive into the psyche of the North American e-bike owner and should be required reading for anyone interested in how the perception of electric bikes is evolving. The study is available for download from the NITC at http://trec.pdx.edu/research/project/1041. There is also a very informative article by Mark Sutton at Cycling Industry News that digests and brings meaning to much more of the report’s findings. https://cyclingindustry.news/electric-bikes-purchases-pulling-people-from-private-cars-finds-nitc-study/