Global – Are e-bikes the future of urban mobility?
October 21st, 2022, Kineree Shah

Global – Are e-bikes the future of urban mobility?

As policymakers around the world promote more environmentally friendly ways to travel, bikes and e-bikes in particular could be the answer for many people looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

To help marketers and brands target the valuable and rapidly growing e-bike market more effectively, we dig into YouGov Profiles – an audience segmentation tool that includes thousands of demographics, psychographics, attitudes and behavioural consumer metrics.

Across 17 markets, the highest proportion of e-bike owners can be found in China, where more than a third of consumers have dipped into the market for a battery-powered bicycle (34%). After China, Denmark has the highest proportion of e-bike owners where a quarter of adults own one (25%), followed by Vietnam (15%). In the rest of the countries we looked at, fewer than one in ten consumers current own an e-bike, dropping to just one in 50 in the US, Great Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore (2%).

Looking at the data of by gender, in all markets except Vietnam and Denmark, a majority of e-bike owners are male. In Germany and France, the difference in e-bike ownership between males and females is minor. However, stark differences are observed in the British and Australian market, albeit among very small ownership groups.

There is lot of variation in the data when we look at it by age. About three-quarters of e-bike owners are between the age of 18 to 44 years in Vietnam (89%), Philippines (86%), China (82%), Indonesia (78%), and India (75%). This makes e-bike ownership a youthful proposition, compared to, say, car ownership.

In Australia (60%) and Thailand (58%) nearly three in five are aged 18 to 44 years. But in Denmark (65%), Germany (59%), France (73%), and Britain (63%), three in five e-bike owners are 45 years and above.

YouGov Profiles can reveal differences between e-bike owners and other groups in every market, so let’s look at a few.

Drilling into the data of France, 16% of consumers enjoy cycling in their spare time. French e-bike owners are more interested in environment and sustainable development news than the general population (40% vs 27%). They are more likely to consider themselves financially secure (53% vs 40%), support local businesses (75% vs 63%) and exercise at least once a week (70% vs 53%).

When it comes to Germany, 7% of the whole population say they have used a bicycle daily in the last 12 months while 17% say they use it several times a week. Three in 10 Germans say they use bikes for excursions and a quarter for shopping purposes. A third of the consumers in this market say they like cycling in their free time (33%). When we look at German e-bike owners specifically, they are more likely to consider themselves financially secure (64% vs 51%) and exercise at least once a week (66% vs 50%). They are also more likely to say that they prefer attending outdoor events in natural space than indoor events (67% vs 55%).

As for Britons, 4% of all consumers (i.e the general population) have used an e-bike while 6% have used an e-scooter in the past 12 months. About a tenth of all consumers say they enjoy cycling (9%) in their spare time. Comparing the attitudes of British e-bike owners with those of the general population, the former is more likely to think crypto is the future of online financial transactions (40% vs 19%). E-bike owners are also more likely to have an active interest in tech and computers (42% vs 24%) and say they hit the gym as often as possible (40% vs 17%) than the general population.

In related news, here you can find the profile and attitudes of American e-bike owners.

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India, which use urban representative samples, and China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. Learn more about Profiles.