Almost a third (30%) of the Dutch cyclists aged 12 and over use electric bikes. The use of e-bikes is most common among elderly cyclists (those aged 65 and over): more than half of them only ride an e-bike. This is according to a RIVM survey of nearly 7,000 people. A vast majority of respondents (70%) said they opted for an e-bike ‘to cycle with less effort’.

This appears to be related to their health status, as this reason was mainly given by elderly respondents, those who did not adhere to the physical activity guidelines, or did not participate in sports weekly, or had obesity, chronic disease or physical disability. It was not the main reason given by those aged 12 to 17. For 60% of this group, ‘cycling faster’ was the main reason to ride an e-bike.

Users, purposes, distances and reasons

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has conducted a survey into the use of e-bikes, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The survey looked at who uses e-bikes and for what purposes, distances and reasons. It was part of the additional module  ‘Physical Activity and Accidents’ of the Lifestyle Monitor conducted by RIVM and the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute in collaboration with Statistics Netherlands in 2021. 6,901 cyclists aged 12 and over took part in the survey. The survey will be repeated in 2023.