Electric bicycles (e-bikes) represent a rapidly growing transportation mode and evolving policy area in the United States. E-bikes present an opportunity to reduce car travel, improve health, and increase access for traditionally underserved populations; however, the relationship between e-bikes and safety, infrastructure, equity, and the environment are not fully understood and remain of interest to decision makers and potential riders. This literature review examines relevant sources through 2022 from North America, Europe, and Asia to develop a baseline understanding of e-bikes, their emerging role in the transportation sector, and how they may advance Federal transportation goals.
The literature review begins with an overview of the legislative and regulatory context surrounding e-bikes in the United States at the national and State levels. It continues by examining existing research on the impacts of e-bikes on eight key topic areas:
- Ridership trends
- Physical Activity and Health
- Trail Infrastructure and Environment
- Energy and Emissions
- Freight Use Cases
Each topic area section also includes a summary of gaps in research and future research needs identified by the project team.