Title: On the electrification of road transportation – A review of the environmental, economic, and social performance of electric two-wheelers
Authors: WEISS MARTINDEKKER PeterMORO ALBERTOSCHOLZ HaraldMARTIN Patel
Citation: TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART D-TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT vol. 41 p. 348-366
Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC96603
ISSN: 1361-9209
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361920915001315
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC96603
DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2015.09.007
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Electrification is widely considered as a viable strategy for reducing the oil dependency and environmental impacts of road transportation. In pursuit of this strategy, most attention has been paid to electric cars. However, substantial, yet untapped, potentials could be realized in urban areas through the large-scale introduction of electric two-wheelers. Here, we review the environmental, economic, and social performance of electric two-wheelers, demonstrating that these are generally more energy efficient and less polluting than conventionally-powered motor vehicles. Electric two-wheelers tend to decrease exposure to pollution as their environmental impacts largely result from vehicle production and electricity generation outside of urban areas. The price of e-bikes is decreasing at a learning rate of 8%. Despite price differentials of 5,000 ± 1,800 EUR2012kWh-1 in Europe, e-bikes are penetrating the market because they offer power assistance and thus an apparent additional use value relative to bicycles. Mid-size and large electric two-wheelers do not offer such an additional use value and constitute niche products at price differentials of 700 ± 360 EUR2012kW-1 and 160 ± 90 EUR2012kW-1, respectively. The large-scale adoption of electric two-wheelers can reduce traffic noise and road congestion but may necessitate adaptations of the existing urban infrastructure and safety regulations. A case-specific assessment as part of an integrated urban mobility planning that accounts, e.g., for the local electricity mix, infrastructure characteristics, and mode-shift behavior, should be conducted before drawing conclusions about the sustainability impacts of electric two-wheelers.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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