Could the increased use of e-bikes (pedelecs) in Sweden contribute to a more sustainable transport system?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The transport sector accounts for large proportions of greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage in Sweden, about 40% and 30%, respectively. Most of this, 93%, comes from road transports. There is, therefore, a strong political desire to reduce the use of fossil fuels in road transport. Several alternatives to fossil fuels have been discussed and, more recently, interest in electrically driven vehicles has increased substantially. Numerous studies have been made with respect to electric cars, but there is insufficient knowledge about the use of electrically assisted bicycles. With increased knowledge of the potential of these new bicycles, society can better meet the new trend. The main aim here is to present the effects of pedelec (in this paper referred to as e-bike) usage on CO2 emissions. Based on a web questionnaire sent to users of /e-bikes, this paper also attempts to gain insight into the actual usage and users' motives for buying e-bikes. The survey uses a sample consisting of customers who bought e-bikes through a retailer in Sweden. The results indicate that, contrary to other European studies, the majority of users switched from using their cars to e-bikes. Furthermore, most of the users were men with a driver's license and good access to a car. Calculations suggest that there are large gains to be made in terms of decreased CO2 emissions through a reduction in car mileage. Considering the CO2 reduction potential, and that e-bikes seem to attract men with good access to a car, the results are very interesting indeed. However, the survey is based on a small sample from a single retailer, and to what extent these users mirror the average e-bike user in Sweden is open to question. On the other hand, there is scant evidence to suggest that this would not be the case if standardized e-bikes are focused on.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infrastructure Engineering


  • Pedelec, Sustainability, Travel Behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th International Conference Environmental Engineering (9th ICEE) - Selected Papers
PublisherVilnius Gediminas Technical Univ Press, Technika
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Event9th International Conference on Environmental Engineering (ICEE) - Vilnius, LITHUANIA
Duration: 2014 May 222014 May 23


Conference9th International Conference on Environmental Engineering (ICEE)