Surge in e-bike popularity means Dutch cycle farther

Dutch cyclists are riding 18 per cent farther on their bikes than they were five years ago. These findings, from mobility business association and information centre BOVAG, are based on data from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

In 2014, people in the Netherlands cycled an average distance of three kilometres per person per day. Annually each person covers 1.018 km by bicycle, an increase of 18 per cent or around 153 km, since 2010.

E-bikes take Dutch on longer rides

BOVAG links this trend to the rising popularity of electric bikes, of which there are currently around 1,5 million in the Netherlands.

In 2007, 89.000 e-bikes were sold in the country. Seven years later, in 2014, a total of 223.000 flew out of Dutch cycle stores.

The motorised bikes allow riders to travel for longer distances at considerable speeds without breaking a sweat, making them ideal for commuters seeking an alternative to the car or public transit system.

Interest in e-bikes does not seem to be slowing down. In fact new high-speed models, capable of reaching 45 km per hour, are generating a fair amount of buzz.

In the coming years, BOVAG expects that more cyclists will start turning to e-bikes to cover distances traditionally handled by cars and trains.

E-bikes more popular in some Dutch provinces

E-bikes may have made an especially big impression in the province of Utrecht. There, two-wheelers travelled a grand total of 1.179 km per person in 2014, collectively farther than residents of any other province. This represents a distance increase of 22 per cent for Utrechters since 2010.

In North Holland, the province where bikes are most popular as an alternative to cars, the increase was the same. Residents cycled an average of 1.113 km per person in 2014.

In some provinces, however, e-bikes are not having a huge effect on how far people travel. In Friesland and Limburg, residents cycled only two and five per cent farther in 2014, respectively, compared to four years prior.

Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

Read more



Leave a comment