Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository


By P.W.K. Dekker


Air pollution is a major problem in our current society, PM, NO2, O3 and CO cause health problems while CO2 emissions have environmental impacts. One of the largest emitters is the transport sector. To reduce pollution by passenger transport, the EU has mapped a strategy to increase electric-based transport. In the EU the emissions from the extra electricity generation that is needed for electric transport are lower that the emissions for the currently used fossil fueled transport options. Studies show that electric cars are too expensive to compete with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Electrification via electric two-wheeler (ETW) technology could be an option, especially in urban regions, however little research has been done on ETWs in the EU. We enhance the knowledge base for policy makers by researching (i) the learning rate for e-bikes and bicycles and finding the future price of e-bikes until 2025 using the experience curve analysis, (ii) the current economic viability of ETWs based on total cost of ownership (TCO) [€/km] from a consumer’s perspective, (iii) which vehicles the e-bike substitute. We do this to compare the substitution choices of e-bike consumers in the Netherlands with consumers in China and to find the main competitors of the e-bike in the Netherlands. We find that (i) the learning rate is 1.0% ± 1.7% for average e-bike prices [€] and 7.9% ± 2.3% for specific e-bike prices [€/kWh] showing a decline in prices for e-bikes. For bicycles we found a learning rate of -36% ± 111% indicating a rise in bicycle prices. These learning rates are significantly lower than those found for battery electric vehicles (BEV) (23% ± 5%) and for energy demand technologies in general (18% ± 9%). We find that e-bike prices will decrease by 3% from €1614,- ± 674 in 2012 to €1561,- ± 609,- in 2025 and the specific price of e-bikes will fall by 17.8% in the same time period from €5813,- ± €2854,- per kWh in 2012 to €4779,- ± €2629,- per kWh in 2025. For the economic analysis (ii) we find that e-bikes are the cheapest option among ETWs with a cost of €0.10 ± €0.05 per km, compared to €0.31 ± €0.14 per km for electric scooters and €0.45 ± €0.21 per km for electric motorcycles. These prices indicate that e-bikes are relatively cheap, similar to the cost of public transport, only slightly more expensive than bicycles (€0.06 ± €0.03) and much cheaper than cars (€0.32 ± €0.15), scooters (€0.23 ± €0.11) or motorcycles (€0.31 ± €0.15). From a consumer perspective only e-bikes are a financially viable option (for large scale use). However it is believed that as prices of batteries decline electric-scooters, and later electric motorcycles will become economically viable as well. Compared to China, all vehicle options are more expensive in the Netherlands. However the relative cost distribution between the Netherlands and China is similar. (iii) From our questionnaire we can conclude that in the Netherlands e-bikes are predominantly used to replace cars (33% of km) and bicycles (33% of km). This is probably due to the convenience of the e-bike compared to the bicycle and the car. These findings however contradict earlier research performed on e-bikes in China, where e-bikes mostly replace public transport use. From the results we can conclude that e-bikes are a viable option to reduce congestion and parking problems in cities. Overall an increase in e-bike use will increase electricity consumption but probably lower harmful air pollutant emissions, especially in urban areas. It will probably also reduce CO2 emissions. We expect that the CO2 emission reduction by replacing cars, is greater than the increase of CO2 emissions by replacing bicycles. This analysis is done based on data for the Netherlands and is probably representative for other densely populated regions with a bicycling culture and similar geographical characteristics, e.g. (cities in) Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium

Topics: Geowetenschappen, Electric Bicycle, E-bike, E-scooter, E-motorcycle, electric pedelec, e-pac, learning rate, cost of transport, bikes, e-pedelec, experience curve, economic analysis, electrification of road transport, road transport, electric two-wheelers, two-wheelers, two wheelers, ETW, E2W
Year: 2013
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.