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Generation Z shifts to e-bikes and car-sharing models

Micro-mobility is on the rise

New research commissioned by ING and conducted by Longitude, which surveyed more than 4,000 people, shows that there is growing enthusiasm for alternatives to the car. ‘Micro-mobility’ vehicles such as electric bikes and electric scooters, for instance, were among the preferred modes of transport prior to Covid-19 for 13% and 9% of survey respondents, respectively, but 21% and 16% say they will prioritise them in the future.

Younger generations are especially keen on greener forms of travel. Among 18–24-year-olds, 34% expect to use bicycles, 29% plan to prioritise e-bikes in the future, and 23% e-scooters. Overall, 35% say they expect to increase their use of alternative modes of travel in the future compared with pre-pandemic use, but that figure rises to 44% of Generation Z.

Don’t buy – share

This data suggests that future generations can be coaxed out of their cars. And many younger people may never become car owners at all. ING’s research reveals that there is growing interest in the mobility-as-a-service model (MaaS), whereby people pay to use or share a car only when they need one.

Already, 27% of 18–24-year-olds are willing to consider car sharing, compared with only 12% of 45–54-years-olds. Not only does this have the potential to reduce the number of cars on the road, it will also enable younger people to access electric vehicles despite their relatively high purchase price.

Jens Brokate, an automotive industry specialist at ING, says there is an opportunity to harness younger people’s enthusiasm for the sharing economy. “In metropolitan areas, a car is too much of a hassle for younger people,” he says. “It costs you more to own and maintain, and often you can’t even find a parking spot.”

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