Electric bikes are becoming the favorite form of transportation for a growing number of people around the world, and there are a number of reasons for that.
Reasons for the popularity of e-bikes
In many cities, the local authorities are promoting and even rewarding their residents for using electric bikes, because of their positive effect on the serious traffic congestion and the air and noise pollution problems plaguing the densely populated urban areas.
Since e-bikes do not use fuel, they release no harmful emissions. Cars and other motorized vehicles, on the other hand, are the fastest growing source of CO2 pollution on a worldwide basis.
Electric bikes have small and rechargeable batteries which on one full charge allow for traveling about 60 miles which is a considerably further distances than you would travel if you are cycling without motor assistance. Depending on the type of e-bike, they can reach a speed of up to 28 mph.
Most e-bikes work by boosting the pedaling with added motor power – these are known as pedelecs. Others have a throttle which doesn’t require any pedaling at all.
Electric bikes are perfect for people who are looking for a fast, cheap and convenient means of transportation which they can use for daily commuting, for taking the children to daycare, for grocery shopping, as well as for enjoying a nice road trip without breaking a sweat.
How the cities can really benefit from the use of e-bikes
Electric bikes are the ultimate vehicles for getting around in a largely populated city. They have no harmful emissions, make no noise, and take up much less space than a car. It is not surprising that many city municipalities and authorities are subsidizing their residents or offering them interest-free loans, tax cuts and other incentives to get off of their cars and start riding e-bikes instead.
In most areas, electric bikes can use the non-motorized routes and bike lanes which is another plus for the traffic load. Even if you choose to ride them on the road, the e-bikes are compact and fast enough to easily pass by the cars stuck in the traffic.
Even though most of the e-bikes are charged via the electrical grid, they are still the most energy efficient motor assisted form of transportation around. They consume electricity amounting to about 1,000 miles per gallon of fossil fuel. Some use solar power charging, so they are completely eco-friendly and sustainable.
A study has shown that if the number of people who are switching from driving or riding buses to e-bikes increases to 22% (today it is about 7%) by the year 2050, this will reduce the harmful emissions by 47% and will save about $128 trillion.
E-bikes will save you money
Yes, electric bikes save a lot of money as well. They are more expensive than regular bikes, but they cost less than cars. The price range for e-bikes begins from a few hundred dollars and can reach over $10,000 if you order one with all bells and whistles included.
The biggest difference in the price is mainly due to the type of battery used. Naturally, the more efficient and durable batteries cost more. But with the advancement of technology and the increase of production volumes, expectations are that the prices of the e-bike batteries will be dropping over time.
Hopes are that e-bikes will be reaching to people with lower income too.
Not only are electric bikes cheaper than cars, but they do not need fuel, licensing, insurance, oil changes, costly repairs and other costs associated with owning and driving a car or other motorized vehicle.
You also don’t need to pay for road taxes or for parking your e-bike and can even keep it in your home or office, especially if you get a foldable one.
If you choose to ride an electric bike to school or to work instead of taking the bus, train or subway, you will also be saving money from the tickets and public transportation passes.
Electric bikes can use the existing bike lanes in the big cities and in some areas, there are already e-bike sharing and renting services which the residents can take advantage of at a low price and with zero negative effect on the environment.
Furthermore, electric bikes are a pure joy to ride. The motorized assistance they provide to your pedaling is especially helpful when you are riding uphill and can some of that extra oomph. You can go on a road trip or cruising along with friends and enjoy the surroundings without needing to put so much effort into pedaling with such a bike.
They will get you to work, school or any other destination without arriving covered in sweat and panting.
Electric bikes are also good for your health. This is especially true if you are used to driving your car and rarely go out walking, cycling or exercising. Since e-bikes do require some pedaling – you will soon find that you are getting fitter, losing weight, and feeling much better once you start commuting on your electric bike.
Unfortunately, many cities are still unable to resolve the safety issues related to riding e-bikes and whether they should integrate into the road infrastructure or the bicycle infrastructure which instead of promoting switching to e-bikes is actually stopping more people from using them.
Others have banned or seriously restricted the use of e-bikes altogether. New York City temporarily named the use of e-bikes which are extremely popular for food deliveries, but thanks to the protest of the small business owners and others – the ban was reverted and changed to a restriction of the speed limit and motor power of the electric bikes.
On the other hand, cities such as San Francisco, Berlin, Oslo, Taipei and many others have adopted special model legislation to improve the road efficiency and the safety of riding e-bikes. In Oslo, Norway you will get paid a lump sum if you want to purchase an electric bike.
Hopefully, more people and local and national officials will realize how beneficial electric bikes can be for resolving the worsening problems with pollution, traffic, noise and road inefficiencies in the big urban areas around the world.