Two short-term electric bike trials have resulted in participants saving an average combined total of $18,000 over 10 weeks, by choosing to cycle instead of using other modes of transport.

RAC General Manager Public Policy, Anne Still, said 60 people took part in the two 10-week trials across Perth and Albany, with 3,000 e-bike trips logged during this time.

“More than half the participants reported saving money by cycling to work, with fuel, public transport and parking key areas where savings were identified,” Ms Still said.

“The reported savings equate to an average of $530 per person over the 10 week period, or around $50 each week.

“The benefits of cycling extend beyond just the financial, with participants also noting a range of health and wellbeing benefits, including feeling less stressed, fitter and heathier.

“One in two participants enjoyed riding their e-bike so much they purchased it at the end of the trials, while the overwhelming majority said they would recommend e-bikes to family, friends and colleagues as a commuting option.”

More than half of all commuting trips were made by e-bike during both trials, and almost 1,300 car trips were replaced by participants choosing to cycle and use other modes instead of driving.

On average, the 20 participants of the trial in Albany had a higher level of e-bike usage, having made two thirds as many e-bike trips as the 40 participants in Perth. They also used their e-bikes more for non-commuting trips compared to those in Perth.

Worldwide, e-bikes are gaining popularity, with more than 40 million expected to be sold each year by 2023. Australian e-bike sales are likewise anticipated to increase, after legislation was recently introduced by State governments which classify motorised push bikes with up to 250 watts of power as bikes, rather than motor vehicles.

“With e-bikes helping to take some of the puff out of cycling, and legislation now in place that has significantly boosted the range of e-bikes available in Australia, they look set to become a mainstream eco-mobility option,” Ms Still said.

More results and information on the e-bike trials is available online.

Fast Facts

  • 34 of 47 participants who responded to the after trial survey reported saving money.
  • The bikes were provided free of charge to participants by RAC for the length of the trial.
  • The RAC e-bike Trial in Perth was delivered by RAC in partnership with the City of Perth, City of Wanneroo, North Metropolitan Health Services through Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Trust and the University of Western Australia. It was also supported by the Department of Transport and Department of Sport and Recreation through the Your Move program. The RAC Regional e-bike Trial in Albany was delivered by RAC in partnership with the City of Albany and Department of Sport and Recreation.
  • RAC’s Cycling Business Case highlighted up to $388 million was needed over 10 years to create continuous, convenient and comprehensive cycle networks in WA's cities and towns. The study also showed the economic, social, health and environmental return for the community on investment in cycling projects are between 3.4 and 5.4 times the costs incurred, higher than some of those achieved by many other urban transport investments.

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