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More bicycle kilometres due to increasing use of electric bicycles

© Doris Reichel

According to a note from the Dutch centre of expertise on bicycle policy ("Fietsberaad"), the numbers of kilometres cycled and of cyclists in the Netherlands are increasing. Data from the period between 2000 and 2012 shows that a major part this development is related to the use of electric bicycles. In contrast, the number of "normal" bicycle kilometres has not changed much during that decade.

Those are some main results of the "Mobiliteitsbalans 2013", published by the Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid (KiM), at the end of October. On behalf of the ministry of transport the "Mobiliteitsbalans" annually reports about the mobility status in the Netherlands.

Between 2000 and 2012, due to an increase in population, the sum of bicycle kilometres rose by about 5 percent. Because more and more people are cycling, the number of kilometres cycled by person increased by 9 percent. All in all, the number of bicycle kilometres rose by 14 percent, and the distances covered by bike became longer.

Generally, there is a strong increase in the bicycle use of elderly people - not only because there more and more of them, but as well, because they have made more cycling kilometres per person. The cycling boom in the elderly generation is shaped by the rise of electric bicycles. In 2012, about 10 percent of the over 60-years old people used an e-bike, doing twice kilometres as contemporaries on "normal" bikes. In 2000 the share of electronic bikes was still negligible.

In general, electric bicycles are capturing the Dutch market. Out of the 1.04 million bicycles, sold in 2012, 171,000 (16 percent) offer electric pedal assistance. All in all 5 percent of the Dutch own an electric bicycle. 38 percent of all kilometres made by e-bike are newly induced, 34 replace bike rides and 18 percent car trips.

Download: Mobiliteitsbalans 2013 (PDF, 12 MB, Oktober 2013, S. 33-37, in Dutch)

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Sources and further information:

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5. November 2013

Niederländischer Fietsberaad ( / Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid (

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