The study, commissioned by the UCI, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), was carried out by University of California, Davis (UCD) and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
Called "A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario" it shows that cycling and e-biking has the potential to cut energy use and CO2 emissions of urban transport by up to 10 per cent by 2050 compared to current estimations, while saving society trillions of dollars.
“This is the first report that quantifies the potential CO2 and cost savings associated with a world-wide shift toward much greater use of cycling in urban areas,” report co-author Lew Fulton said. “The estimated impacts surprised me because they are so large. The costs saved in lower energy use and reducing the need for car travel, new roads, and parking lots through 2050 are substantial.”
According to the study, the right mix of investments and public policies can bring bikes and e-bikes to cover up to 14 per cent of urban kilometres by 2050 - ranging from about 25 per cent in the Netherlands and China to about 7 per cent in the U.S. and Canada.
The study also noted that more than half of all urban trips around the world are less than 10 kilometres and can potentially be made by bike.
Savings of around $25 trillion USD could be achieved through eliminating the need for new major highways, parking facilities and the maintenance of existing infrastructure to accommodate forecast growth in road traffic.