E-bike use in Sweden – CO2 effects due to modal change and municipal promotion strategies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is a strong political desire to reduce the use of fossil fuels in road transport. In this paper, the use of e-bikes (of the pedelec type) in Sweden is analysed by focusing on changes in travel behaviour and their corresponding effects on CO2 emissions. The aim is to analyse the effect on CO2 emissions due to the use of e-bikes. The analysis is carried out on the possible differences in changed travel behaviour between areas dominated by either urban or rural environments. It is based on a combination of responses to a questionnaire distributed to e-bike users and a survey of local transport planners in Swedish municipalities. The results indicate that there are large gains to be made from e-bike usage in terms of decreased CO2 emissions through a reduction in car mileage. Furthermore, the results indicate that the potential for e-bikes to replace car trips is as great in rural areas as it is in urban areas. At the same time, the results indicate that the Swedish municipalities carrying out e-bike campaigns target trips in both urban and rural areas, therefore representing an effective promotion strategy to achieve the full CO2 emissions reducing potential of e-bike use. This study also shows that, depending on the type of errand being carried out, more respondents living in urban areas than in rural areas replace their conventional bicycle trips with e-bike trips. Thus, the use of e-bikes produces some less than desirable effects, such as reduced physical activity.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • CO emissions, E-bike, Pedelec, Sustainability, Travel behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-824
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 10
Publication categoryResearch