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Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Why the electric bicycle is gaining popularity in Denmark
The electric bicycle is gaining in popularity on the traditional version. File photo: Mathias Løvgreen Bojesen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark is known as a cycling nation, but an increasing number of people in the Nordic country are opting for an electric motor on their bicycle.

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The popularity of electric bicycles has charged forwards in Denmark over the last decade.

While very few electric cycles or elcykler were sold in 2011, almost a quarter of all bicycles sold lad year were fitted with electric motors, according to a new report from the Danish Roads Directorate (Vejdirektoratet).

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The report is based on a survey of around 3,000 people in Denmark.

While the electric bike has traditionally been seen as a mode of transport for older members of society, its use has become more widespread according to the Minister of Transport, Thomas Danielsen, who said he welcomed the increased use of electric bikes.

The minister noted that 32 percent of electric cycle-owning Danes are now under the age of 40, pointing out its use in rural locations with less public transport coverage.

“When you live somewhere where buses don’t leave eight times an hour, you need an alternative. In this sense it’s positive that the electric bicycle is gaining ground,” he said.

“Where 10-15 kilometres is too much for pure pedal power, the electric bicycle can make (cycling) a genuine alternative for daily transport,” he said.

The electric cycle is most popular in regional towns, where 16 percent currently opt for the chargeable bike.

Reasons giving for preferring it in the report were its easier use over long distances and ability to save travelling time compared to the regular push-bike.

Around half of electric bicycle users in the survey said it had fully or partially replaced their car.

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