Safety implications of e-bikes

Marilyn Johnson, Geoffrey Rose

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


E-bikes are bicycles that are fitted with an electric motor to provide the rider with power-assistance. While e-bike use is growing around the world, there is still limited research directed at this mode of travel. This study investigated the safety implications of e-bike use in Victoria, Australia, including perceptions of safety at various on-road and off-road locations along with the crash experiences of e-bike riders. The study includes a literature review on perceptions of safety, a review of the current infrastructure design standards and a survey of e-bike riders exploring their experiences and perceptions of safety. The survey found that hill climbing capability and spot speed are two potential e-bike performance capabilities that are different to pedal bikes in terms of how a rider interacts with on-road and off-road infrastructure. Wider lanes and paths, smooth and flat surfaces, adequate sight distance and better connectivity are some of the main requirements identified for e-bike riders. There is no significant difference between e-bike and pedal bike riders in perceptions of comfort, including safety, or on riders’ perspective of cycling infrastructure. E-bike riders were found to be older riders with less riding experience and potentially lower cycling proficiency. It was found that priority should be given to the development of education materials or rider training programs, particularly for older e-bikes riders and potential e-bike riders.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVictoria, Australia
PublisherRoyal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV)
Commissioning bodyRoyal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Ltd
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9780980491388
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • Electric bikes
  • E-bikes
  • Safety
  • Perceptions of safety
  • Victoria

Cite this