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Ebikes Go The (Right) Distance


The ebike maker VanMoof released a report showing how their ebikes are used in the United States, and the data should make everyone who cares about cities sit up and take note. In particular, VanMoof found that their ebikes in the United States get used frequently and for longer rides than might be expected. The average duration of a VanMoof roundtrip ride? 45 minutes. The average distance of those rides? Over 7 miles. The data came from their customers in the US, meaning people who had bought a personal ebike.


It's helpful to put this information in context by comparing these ebike rides to some other ways that people move. For example, rides on shared ebikes and shared scooters tend to be around 10 minutes long, covering a mile or two. And, one-way trips on city buses tend to average around 3 miles and last around 20 minutes, depending somewhat on the city and the service of course. Trips on foot average under a mile. Importantly, a large percentage of trips by car - anywhere from 30-60% depending on the city - are under 5 miles.


Unsurprisingly, one of the implications is that when people need to pay by the minute, the way they generally do with a shared ebike or shared escooter, they don't go nearly as far as they do when they won't be charged for going farther. That makes sense.


And, people seem to have a time budget for everyday, frequent trips. Whether taking a one-way bus trip that takes 20 minutes, or a round-trip bike ride of 45 minutes, or a car trip of a few miles, people are up for frequently going somewhere that they can get to in less than half an hour, as compared to taking longer trips every day.


What does all this mean? To us here at FreeBike, it is further evidence of how important and useful it is for people to have two wheels and an electric motor for getting around. If you are involved in running a city, you can help people do virtually all of their local travel for much less than $1 per trip, by simply providing ebikes (and other related small electric vehicles) via bike libraries ("Transportation as a Public Service"). If you are involved in running a residential complex such as an apartment building, you can greatly increase the accessible number of destinations from that complex (aka the value of that complex) by adding ebikes ("Transportation as an Amenity"). And if you are involved in running a company, you can ensure that the company's employees can get to and from work, as well as be happy when they arrive, by adding ebikes as a benefit ("Transportation as a Benefit").


Get in touch, and let FreeBike help you make it happen.

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