Shimano’s major annual study around the VAE, the “State of the Nation” looks at the reasons that block the development of the electric bike.
A Europe-wide survey, conducted by Shimano in 11 countries, allows us to understand a little better what motivates or what blocks the general public when it comes to switching to electric bicycles. For France, the study is particularly interesting since it reveals that the VAE is already very popular there.
The reasons for switching to pedelecs can be diverse and vary somewhat by country. In France, if the health and well-being factor associated with cycling is one of the reasons explaining its practice, Shimano’s report sheds light on other criteria, such as the possibility of saving money. The environmental aspect of cycling also comes up as an important argument for 35% of people questioned in France. But what the Shimano study also reveals is that there are still major blocking factors for the purchase of an e-bike.
Too expensive and too dangerous?
Among the reasons that prevent switching to an electric bike, the price is the most commonly cited reason. pedelecs are generally considered too expensive, even if the average investment cost when purchasing them is gradually increasing. In France, for example, the average price for a VAE is around 2,000 euros. Paradoxically, the electric bike is also perceived there as a means of saving money and the purchase aids are considered there as one of the main factors allowing its adoption (for 60% of the French people questioned). Indeed, for 55% of respondents in France, the rise in the cost of living (especially fuel prices) is a sufficient reason to justify the purchase of a VAE in the next 12 months.
Shimano’s investigation also highlights two other blocking factors. Fear of an accident is one of the most common reasons. This fear would be motivated by infrastructures and roads deemed to be deficient. The study concludes as follows: In France, improving cycling infrastructure (42%) is also seen as an important factor in encouraging the adoption of e-bikes “.
Finally, a last blocking factor emerges from the study: the lack of space to store the electric bike, whether at home or at work (for 34% of French respondents).
Shimano’s study does not have a scientific vocation, but it nevertheless makes it possible to identify trends not only in each country, but also more globally. The other interest of this European survey is that 51% of the 15,792 people who answered Shimano’s questions said they did not own a bicycle. In fact, the survey provides a better idea of the perception of the electric bike by the general public, and the reasons that prevent the uninitiated from switching to the VAE.