Markets and Program Options For E-bikes in California

Research Team: Elizabeth Deakin (lead) and Karl Reinhard

University: UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: E-bikes are a small but growing transportation option in California and one that appears to offer cost savings and contribute to environmental, health and equity goals. Benefits of e- bikes include their relative affordability, low emissions and energy use, low-impact exercise with fewer physical demands and greater speed and range than walking or conventional biking, greater ability to carry items such as groceries, and more. State policies relevant to encouraging e-bike use include greenhouse gas and other air pollution reduction programs as well as transportation programs responsive to the needs of low-income Californians and programs responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

Project Description: This project will build on and update previous research and travel surveys to examine the market for e-bikes in California, and in consultation with stakeholders, recommend program options for increasing the use of e-bikes. The first phase of this project will summarize what is known about e-bikes and travel, taking into account the costs and performance of different e-bikes currently on the market, and assess e-bike benefits and barriers to their greater use along with potential ways those barriers could be overcome. The second phase will examine whether, how and to what extent e-bikes could further the goals of state policies (e.g., AB 32 and SB 375); state, regional and local transportation plans; and the Governor’s roadmap for COVID-19 response and recovery.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $58,245.25

Project Partner(s): California Department of Transportation