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Do shared E-bikes reduce urban carbon emissions?

Li, Qiumeng, Fuerst, Franz and Luca, Davide (2023) Do shared E-bikes reduce urban carbon emissions? Journal of Transport Geography, 112. ISSN 0966-6923

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2023.103697


Under the threat of climate change, many global cities nowadays are promoting shared commuting modes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Shared electric bikes (e-bikes) are emerging modes that compete with bikes, cars, or public transit. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence for the net effect of shared e-bikes on carbon emissions, as shared e-bikes can substitute for both higher carbon emissions modes and cleaner commuting modes. Using a large collection of spatio-temporal trajectory data of shared e-bike trips in two provincial cities (Chengdu and Kunming) in China, this study develops a travel mode substitution model to identify the changes in travel modes due to the introduction of shared e-bike systems and to quantify the corresponding impact on net carbon emissions. We find that, on average, shared e-bikes decrease carbon emissions by 108–120 g per kilometre. More interestingly, the reduction effect is much stronger in underdeveloped non-central areas with lower density, less diversified land use, lower accessibility, and lower economic level. Although the actual carbon reduction benefits of shared e-bike schemes are far from clear, this study bears important policy implications for exploring this emerging micro-mobility mode to achieve carbon reduction impacts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q55 - Technological Innovation
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q50 - General
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R0 - General > R00 - General
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2023 10:27
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 00:09

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