Digital Library on Green Mobility


E-Bikes and Their Capability To Reduce Car CO2 Emissions

Publication Year: 2022

Author(s): Philips I, Anable J, Chatterton T


This paper estimates the maximum capability to reduce CO2 by substituting private car travel for an e-bike. The authors use spatial microsimulation (population-synthesis) to simulate the adult population within every small area in England, taking into account of area type and geodemographic circumstances of the population. By estimating for individuals the distance they are capable of travelling by e-bike and the extent to which they are capable of replacing private car travel, It is found that the upper limit on the capability to reduce CO2 by substituting car travel for e-bike use is 24.4 MTCO2 p.a. (per annum) in England. CO2 saving capability per person and per small area is highest (over 750 kg CO2 per person p.a.) for rural and rural-urban fringe residents. E-bikes offer major conurbations with more modest CO2 saving capability per person. The authors identify areas vulnerable to car-related economic stress and have a high capability to replace car km with e-bikes, which, if supported appropriately, could contribute to equitable carbon reduction. Though capable of a very significant contribution to transport carbon reduction, other changes in technology and reduction in demand would also be necessary to reach zero emissions. The results are directly relevant to policy actors internationally who require evidence on place-based decarbonization capability, mainly where car dependence is high. The results highlight how context is important in any attempt to design policy for equitable carbon reduction to influence discussion on what is possible and practical identification of areas for targeted intervention. 

Source of Publication: Transport Policy

Vol/Issue: 116: 11 - 23p.

DOI No.: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.11.019

Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain

Publisher/Organisation: Elsevier Ltd.

Rights: CC BY license (


Theme: Sustainable transportation | Subtheme: Environment Impact

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