A study on speed pedelecs in Flanders Region

A new study regarding how light electric vehicles, specifically speed pedelecs, can be used for daily commuting in Flanders Region: here the results 

One of the Clean Power for Transport projects, subsidized by the department of Environment of Flanders has just finished its study. The research project, named 365SNEL, was done by the universities of Leuven (KUL) and Brussels (VUB). They made 105 individuals from 10 different companies use a speed pedelec to commute during a three-week testing period. They tested this during a whole year to take into account potential seasonal effects on speed pedelec usage. They wanted to know whether the speed pedelec could be the solution for daily commuting, while escaping from the daily traffic jams. The answer is: yes, but…

Their most important conclusions are: 

- Not all speed pedelecs can reach the maximum speed of 45km/h.

- A big advantage of the speed pedelec is that it gives you the certainty of arriving at the expected time.

- The users experience riding the speed pedelec as a ‘positive and pleasant experience’. They have had their sport for the day and arrive with a fresh head.

- The biggest threshold is the high price, which is due to European homologation rules that do not really fit for speed pedelecs.

- The success of speed pedelecs in Belgium is due to the separate categorization for speed pedelecs - ‘category P’ - which makes it possible to make specific rules for speed pedelecs. There is also the flexibility rule: a speed pedelec driver can chose whether to ride on the road or bike path when the maximum speed on the road is 50 km/h. When the maximum road speed is higher than 50 km/h, they have to ride on the bike path. In other countries they are often obliged to always ride on the road, which often creates an insecure feeling.

- There is a lot of misunderstanding and negative appreciation towards speed pedelec riders from other drivers. Therefor positive campaigns are necessary.

- Better infrastructure is necessary for speed pedelecs. Bumps and holes in the road are much more dangerous for speed pedelecs than for other bikes.

- A new discovery is that riding a speed pedelec seems to activate a sense of competition in many individuals. Stimulating competition through gamification, with apps like Strava, might have a positive effect on speed pedelec usage.

You can read the whole article here (Dutch): https://365snel.net/