Chapter 8: Beyond market success: unpacking the societal implications of the e-bike
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Internationally, the e-bike is on the rise as an innovation in transport. At first glance the e-bike is seemingly a success given its market penetration rate, but a deeper understanding of its societal impacts is essential to go beyond mere sale numbers. Instead of assuming that innovation means progress, a detailed sustainability analysis is needed to assess whether a certain innovation benefits society. This chapter first investigates factors explaining the success/failure of the e-bike in different countries with a transitions perspective. Then it unpacks the societal implications of the e-bike, including both environmental and social aspects. The empirical analysis part further sheds light on the dynamics of e-bike adoption by employing a mobility biography approach to study qualitative material of Dutch e-bike users. This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the e-bike innovation and generates some new insights.