The bicycle, in one form or another, has been around for two whole centuries. The advantages for urban commuting as well as recreation were apparent from the start. Now, with e-bikes, you can change your daily commute once more and make it better than ever.
E-bikes, or bicycles with electric propulsion, combine all of the advantages of motorbikes and muscle-propelled bicycles.
There are three major benefits e-bikes have over any other mode of transport:
- Very easy to drive, navigate, and park
- Low cost and low emissions
- Dedicated free tracks
The final point might not be the case in every country, but cyclists usually get some additional rights of way as would pedestrians. And, in countries that are friendly to cyclists, it might be twice as fast to use this type of transport over cars.
Staying Under 50cc
Electric bicycles can come in many sizes and there are some which pack quite a bit of power. But, as we know how much speed is necessary for urban commuting it is best not to pass over 50cc for the motor.
Not only will this use a lot more power and will give you a hard time cycling when out of juice, but it might also bar you from using cycling lanes and walkways. Most countries also require a motorcycle license for anything over 50cc.
But, as most cars usually go up to 10mph when in the city, and the top speed of these e-bikes would be roughly 30mph, you should be more than in your comfort zone when driving them.
Low Traffic and Low Effort
Heaps of traffic are the bane of commuting in a big city. In some areas, the situation is so bad that cars only go around 2 miles per hour. And this is exactly where electric bicycles with their ability to go around traffic come into play.
While it is true that they are not as good at transporting goods and people, they are excellent for just moving the driver from point A to point B.
Also, unlike regular bicycles, there is not as much effort. 90% of the ‘’peddling’’ is done by the motor and you don’t need to peddle faster to go faster. This means that you can go in your work clothes and not break a sweat while you get to your job.
Reducing the Cost of Transportation
This is a very obvious benefit, but most people forget that it is more than just gas. Combining repairs, insurance, parking, and many other costs that come with using your car in the city, you get a staggering difference.
Depending on where you live, you might be using up to 5% of your annual income only on your commute, and it might be even more for some urban jobs where you need to use your own vehicle.
At that point, it becomes better just calling up an Uber than firing up your car.
No Parking Hurdles
Depending on where you live, this can range from paying through your nose for a dedicated parking spot as is the case in New York City, or simply having nowhere to park as is experienced in most of mainland Europe and Japan.
China is probably the only place where there is still some reasonable parking, but that is because many people are already using bicycles.
With an e-bike, you can park right next to the door of your company. There might be dedicated bike-locks in the front, or you might even opt to bring it inside.
Because it is so small and flexible, you only need a few feet of clearing to park your bike. And it is possible to park a dozen bikes in a single car parking space.
Improving Overall Health
While the exercise of driving an e-bike is nowhere near as intense as riding a regular bicycle, there is some action involved. Usually, it is the same type of exercise as having a walk at normal speed.
But, this means that you will spend, on average, around 50 minutes every day in mild exercise. This alone will increase your health immensely.
And, if most people switch to this type of transport there will also be less car pollution, which is something to hope for.
Finally, you will reduce your emissions drastically. Unlike electric cars that require a lot of lithium to power and may use electricity from less than green sources, e-bikes are hybrids between muscle energy and a bit of electricity.
The low weight of the vehicles reduces the amount of power you need, and you can always replenish the power by cycling.
Going through the math, the only way to use less energy in your commute is to work from home and not use any at all.