- UK car owners increasingly see ebikes and micromobility solutions as viable for short trips.
- Auto Trader’s report highlights ebike adoption barriers and commuter potential.
- Ebike sales are being driven by consumer interest in cost savings and speed.
Report outlines the hurdles micromobility solutions must overcome to rise further in prominence
Auto Trader research reveals that nearly half of UK car owners now consider ebikes and other forms of micromobility to be a practical alternative for shorter journeys. This shift in perspective comes hot off the heels of the launch of Auto Trader’s new ebike platform.
Auto Trader’s report, titled ebikes and Micromobility: The Future of Travel, explores the current sentiments among consumers regarding ebikes. It highlights a collaboration opportunity between industry stakeholders, government bodies, retailers, and brands to bolster awareness and growth. That would make ebikes a much more viable solution for a majority of the UK population.
Despite ebike sales reaching an impressive £310 million in 2022, representing a significant jump from just £55 million in 2017, only 9% of UK consumers currently own an ebike. However, industry analysts are optimistic about a resurgence in growth in 2024 as more people experience ebikes.
For commuters, who stand as one of the key demographics for ebike adoption, the report reveals a rather slow uptake. A staggering 76% of surveyed commuters admit they have never purchased or even considered using an ebike. Nevertheless, a glimmer of hope emerges, as 11% of commuters express a strong intent to acquire an ebike within the next six months, signalling a potential market expansion of nearly four million individuals.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge the roadblocks inhibiting this growth. An overwhelming 87% of commuters identify barriers preventing them from immediate ebike ownership. These include concerns about high upfront costs, road safety, insufficient utilization, and a lack of cycling infrastructure.
How does the world view micromobility?
On the concept of “micromobility,” 35% of consumers appear disconnected from various modes of microtransport. This emphasizes the need for a clearer, more consumer-friendly definition of the term. Moreover, awareness varies significantly across geographical and income brackets. The report shows that urban residents and higher-income earners are far more familiar with micromobility options.
Consumers cite increased speed and substantial cost savings as the primary attractions of ebikes. These savings extend to fuel (59%), public transport (44%), and parking (42%). Yet, concerns persist, primarily related to the hefty upfront cost (50%), apprehensions regarding road safety (46%), anticipated underutilization (37%), and the absence of nearby bike lanes (31%).
While most UK car owners do not foresee ebikes completely replacing all car journeys (90%), more than half (55%) believe that electric bicycles could effectively substitute for the 3-5 mile trips they commonly make by car.
Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s Commercial Director comments:
“Having access to a car is still of great importance for consumers across the UK and many rely on this form of transportation to get around in their day-to-day life. However, our research revealed that many also recognise the benefits that micro mobility options such as e-bikes can bring both from a cost and environmental perspective, along with speed for particular types of journeys.
“Consumers understand that by making more positive changes and using e-bikes where possible, can help reduce pollution on the roads and combat climate change. Despite this, there are still several barriers to adoption which is slowing growth in the e-bike market so financial incentives, improvements in cycling infrastructure and greater promotion of the benefits of e-bikes to the wider population from both industry and government is vital to ensure Brits have the confidence to purchase and use an e-bike on the roads in the years to come.”
Michelle Jakeway, Head of Strategic Marketing Partnerships at Raleigh adds:
“E-bikes have a unique role to play in helping to reduce our transport emissions, whilst at the same time reducing congestion and improving air quality.
”The findings of this report, alongside the demand that we see from consumers, highlights strong appetite for e-bikes. In order to take the e-bike revolution to the next stage in the UK, we need to see an increase in safe and continuous cycling infrastructure, alongside financial support to help people make the shift.”
Auto Trader has recently unveiled a dedicated ebike platform, offering over 1,500 ebikes from more than 50 brands. This platform makes it easier for consumers to explore and select the right ebike to fit their needs and preferences. Auto Trader’s ebike platform could play a vital role in opening the accessibility of ebikes to a wider audience. A mature second-hand market will make the upfront costs of ebikes far more palatable, therefore, will contribute massively to the sector’s growth.