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Dynamics of electric bike ownership and use in Kunming, China

Author

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  • Cherry, Christopher R.
  • Yang, Hongtai
  • Jones, Luke R.
  • He, Min

Abstract

The rapid adoption of electric bikes (e-bikes) (~150 million in 10 years) has come with debate over their role in China's urban transportation system. While there has been some research quantifying impacts of e-bikes on the transportation system, there has been little work tracking e-bike use patterns over time. This paper investigates e-bike use over a 6-year period. Four bi-annual travel diary surveys of e-bike users were conducted between 2006 and 2012 in Kunming, China. Choice models were developed to investigate factors influencing mode-transition and motorization pathways. As expected, income and vehicle ownership strongly influence car-based transitions. Younger and female respondents were more likely to choose car-based modes. Systematic and unobserved changes over time (time-dynamics) favor car-based modes, with the exception of previous car users who already shifted away from cars being less likely to revert to cars over time. E-bikes act as an intermediate mode, interrupting the transition from bicycle to bus and from bus to car. Over 6 years, e-bikes are displacing prospective bus (65→55%), car/taxi (15→24%) and bicycle (19→7%) trips. Over 40% of e-bike riders now have household car access so e-bikes are effectively replacing many urban car trips.

Suggested Citation

  • Cherry, Christopher R. & Yang, Hongtai & Jones, Luke R. & He, Min, 2016. "Dynamics of electric bike ownership and use in Kunming, China," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 127-135.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:45:y:2016:i:c:p:127-135
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.09.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jones, Luke R. & Cherry, Christopher R. & Vu, Tuan A. & Nguyen, Quang N., 2013. "The effect of incentives and technology on the adoption of electric motorcycles: A stated choice experiment in Vietnam," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-11.
    2. Chiou, Yu-Chiun & Wen, Chieh-Hua & Tsai, Shih-Hsun & Wang, Wei-Ying, 2009. "Integrated modeling of car/motorcycle ownership, type and usage for estimating energy consumption and emissions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 665-684, August.
    3. Cherry, Christopher R. & Weinert, Jonathan X. & Yang, Xinmiao, 2009. "Comparative Environmental Impacts of Electric Bikes in China," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt16k918sh, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    4. Jonathan Weinert & Chaktan Ma & Christopher Cherry, 2007. "The transition to electric bikes in China: history and key reasons for rapid growth," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 301-318, May.
    5. David Hensher & William Greene, 2003. "The Mixed Logit model: The state of practice," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 133-176, May.
    6. Cherry, Christopher & Cervero, Robert, 2007. "Use characteristics and mode choice behavior of electric bike users in China," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 247-257, May.
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