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12 Sep 2022, more…

Study shows half the population see e-bikes as natural car replacement

Posted on 29 Sep 2022

With household budgets under pressure, a new study has revealed that half the population believe e-bikes are the natural replacement for cars.

Bike is Best, a campaign that promotes the benefits of cycling, and which is supported by the ACT, commissioned research to explore the impact of the rising cost of living on people’s habits.

Of the 2,000 people who took part in the study, two thirds (69%) of the population have changed or are considering changing their transport behaviour, with 86% citing saving money as the reason for the change.

The study also found that 84% of Brits are planning on driving a lot less, 87% see the bike as a way of helping combat the rising cost of living.

Adam Tranter, founder of Bike is Best, said: “I want to acknowledge that both the pandemic and now the chronic squeeze on personal finances are horrible situations, but my hope is that something good, call it a silver lining, can be the sustained growth of cycling for everyday transport and the cycling industry needs to act now.

“The general public’s knowledge, awareness and desire for e-bikes is there. This is borne out by 50% of UK adults declaring that an e-bike is the most natural car replacement. Another really encouraging figure is that 87% of people feel that using a bicycle can help with the cost of living.


“Despite this, the potential demand is being stifled as 41% of people think e-bikes are too expensive. There is a clear affordability issue and it’s not hard to see why, when people have got used to driving £40k cars for a relatively small down payment and £300 a month. Government policy can be a great way of lowering costs barriers to entry, just like the €4k subsidy scheme in France. The opportunity now for the cycling industry is to repackage bicycle ownership to help remove cost perception barriers.”

Although bikes are seen as the alternative to the car, they are used by just less than one-quarter (23%) with e-bikes used by a further 5%. Bike ownership is up at 57% (increasing to 72% for those aged 16-20).

Road safety is still a significant barrier to cycling for many people, with 38% concerned about road conditions, while 40% also said the cost is the main reason for not getting an e-bike.

ACT supports Bike is Best’s call for more work in supporting the gateway into cycling, be this financial aid, education or highlighting cycling as a viable and sustainable mode of transport. The cycling industry must work together to ensure that perceptions are changed at a time when it matters the most.


Retail finance – spreading the cost of higher value bikes

The ACT’s Ride it away Retail Finance scheme is the perfect tool for retailers to lower the cost barrier for consumers, and remove the cost perceptions that e-bikes are out of budget.

For example the cost of a brand new £2,000 e-bike can be spread over a couple of years, costing the consumer just over £75 per month with a 10% deposit. Further to this a good salesperson could help throw in a helmet and some lights too for just a few extra pounds per month.

The ACT have also helped create a Retail Finance Training course to help teach you and your staff how to encourage customers to make purchases, as well as maximising their spending through techniques such as financial promotion, Point of Sale (POS) and bundling.

The course retails for just £150 including VAT. Members of the ACT receive up to a 50% saving off the RRP. To get started visit: