Electric bike use on the rise

Several government-backed experiments are under way in an effort to get more people to use electric bikes to cycle to work and school, Nos television said on Thursday.

This autumn for example, some 240 secondary school pupils will asked to try out electric bikes in the Groningen Assen region in the north of the country. If they like the bikes, they will be able to buy them for a reduced price.

The trial is aimed at youngsters who have to travel between six and 20 kilometres to school. Officials hope the use of the bikes will discourage them from using overcrowded public transport.

Safety issues

There are already 1.3 million electric bikes in the Netherlands, the broadcaster says. Newer, faster versions are being launched constantly, leading to a debate about their suitability for bike lanes on the roads, and the safety aspects.

The fastest ‘super bikes’ so far reach 45 kph and need to have licence plates like mopeds. In some parts of the country, special ‘electric freeways’ are being constructed for mopeds and electric bikes. One has already been built between Amsterdam and Almere, the broadcaster says.

Government officials are due to meet cyclists and motorists representatives at the end of September to discuss proposals for new rules covering electric bikes.

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