Pedelecs increase the typical 5-kilometre range of a conventional bicycle to 10 kilometres and more. Since three quarters of all trips made in Germany are within a 10-kilometre range, pedelecs hold great potential to replace many of those trips made by car. There is a similar large transfer potential in many other countries. Pedelecs can serve a wide range of purposes, whether it is long-distance journeys (e.g. worker's commutes), transport of goods (e.g. shopping) or transporting children – and they make it easier to overcome altitude differences. Pedelec cycling promotes good health and is considerably more friendly to the environment than driving a car because it is space-saving, more climate-friendly and quiet. Pedelecs can therefore make an important contribution to sustainable mobility if they replace car trips. The background paper by UBA (German: E-Rad macht mobil) sheds light on the ecological pros and cons of pedelecs, including energy consumption, emissions and battery recycling. It discusses the demands of pedelecs on existing infrastructure and makes reference to a number of interesting e-bike projects in Germany and elsewhere. For now, pedelecs are common in a few countries only, and there is little knowledge of their advantages on a broad international scale. The background paper entitled Electric bikes get things rolling – the potential and environmental impact of pedelecs will make it possible for the interested public and experts abroad to gain more detailed information on the subject.