Germany’s most popular electric vehicle isn’t even an electric car

Germany's most popular electric vehicle isn't even an electric car

A Deloitte study surveyed commuters in Germany to determine the most common types of electric transportation used in the country. As it turns out, electric cars aren’t the most popular EVs on the road. That title goes to electric bicycles.

And it wasn’t even close.

According to the Deloitte study, survey respondents in Germany were 2.5 times as likely to report using an electric bicycle compared to an electric car.

Approximately 7% of respondents reported driving an electric car while 18% used an electric bicycle.

Electric cars were still the second most popular form of electric transportation, while electric scooters were close behind in third place. Electric mopeds, electric motorcycles, and electric micro-cars made up the smallest share of e-mobility vehicles.

Interestingly, electric bicycles were also chosen as the most “attractive” option among electric vehicles. In this case, “attractive” referred to how desirable it was to use that transportation option – not whether an electric bike was sexier than a Porsche Taycan.

As pointed out in Treehugger, the fact that electric bikes also serve as a form of exercise and recreation likely helped boost their popularity over cars.

That’s a conclusion supported by the study’s closer look at how each type of electric vehicle was used.

Respondents who selected a certain type of electric vehicle were asked which activities they used it for, giving a more detailed look at the transportation advantages and relative attractiveness of each type of EV.

While e-bikes proved much more popular for recreation as well as fitness, electric cars edged out e-bikes when it came to commuting and running errands. Electric cars were more than twice as likely to be used for commuting (65% versus 29%), but the gap was much closer when it came to running errands (68% versus 53%).

Germany is an interesting case study for e-bike use, as it is one of the leading countries for e-bike sales in a continent that has already shown high rates of e-bike adoption.

In fact, electric bike sales have outsold electric cars for years, especially in Europe, which has shown a strong affinity for commuting by e-bike.

Electric bikes are outselling electric cars in Europe today, but they’re actually on track to outsell all cars in Europe — gas or electric — later this decade.

That puts Europe well ahead of the pace of e-bike adoption in the US, where e-bikes only recently surpassed electric car sales.

gazelle electric bike

Electrek’s Take

These findings don’t surprise me. If anything, I’m always surprised to see the sheer number of e-bikes on the streets each time I’m in Germany. I knew they were popular, but each time I visit Germany I’m overwhelmed by the number and variety of e-bikes and e-bike riders.

Electric bicycles become such an integrated part of people’s lives in much of Europe that it simply makes sense to have an e-bike the way many US families have a second (or third) car. And in densely populated German cities, like in many other countries in Europe, shirking car ownership altogether in favor of an e-bike makes even more sense.

Let’s just hope the US wakes up to this trend and that cities can invest in proper cycling infrastructure to support it.

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