Chapter Three

Why Choose an

Electric Bike?

There are a number of reasons why a cyclist—whether beginner, expert, or somewhere in between—might choose to ride an electric bike. This section will cover three of the most important factors to keep in mind when deciding whether or not an electric bike is right for you.

Electric Bikes Save Time and Money

Increasingly, people around the world are turning to electric bikes as an effective solution for their day-to-day transportation needs, which might include such trips as commuting to and from work or school, grocery shopping, short errands, or going out for social events.

Using an electric bike for this type of daily travel can help riders save time and money in a number of ways, including the following:

Electric bikes allow riders to save time by using bike lanes and paths instead of sitting in traffic in a car or waiting for public transportation.

Locking an electric bike to a bike rack immediately in front of your destination is faster, cheaper, and more convenient than parking a car in expensive, crowded parking lots that may or may not be located close to your actual destination.

Depending on where you live, electric bikes may help you save money by allowing you to avoid tolls or other car-related fees.

Recharging an electric bike battery is significantly cheaper than filling a car with gasoline or paying to use public transportation.

The costs of repairs and general upkeep for an electric bike are far less than the costs of maintaining and repairing a car.

On average, an electric bike allows you to go much further for much less money than any other form of transportation. In fact, one study found that an electric bike can travel as far as 500 miles on just $1—roughly 100 times further than a car or public transportation, and 35 times further than a hybrid car.6

Electric Bikes Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether it’s used as a vehicle for your daily commute or more specifically as a means of working out, an electric bike helps contribute to a more fit, active, and well-balanced lifestyle.

Introducing an electric bike into your regular travel transforms your daily commutes into an opportunity for some light physical activity and a chance to catch some fresh air. Electric bikes are particularly well suited for daily commuting since the motor assistance helps eliminate challenges such as steep hills and headwinds, and creates a smoother, less demanding cycling experience. By using an electric bike, commuters no longer have to worry about arriving at their destination feeling tired, sweaty, or worn out—the bike’s motor takes care of the overly strenuous portions of the ride while still allowing you to mix some physical exercise into your daily routine.

Along with using an electric bike for day-to-day transportation, many cyclists use electric bikes specifically as a means of working out and becoming more fit. Electric bikes offer riders a high degree of control over the level of physical exertion required to ride, making them particularly helpful for anybody who would like to become more fit, but who may need to gradually and carefully ease into increased physical activity. Electric bikes, therefore, may provide an especially helpful way to exercise for those who fall into the following categories:

recovering from an injury or illness,

looking for a low-impact workout,

elderly cyclists,

people who are new to working out,

returning to physical activity after a prolonged period of inactivity.


The third main reason why people choose to ride electric bikes is the comparatively small environmental impact they make. Most immediately, the fact that electric bikes require no gasoline or oil, emit no pollution while being operated, and require only a small amount of electricity to recharge a battery make electric bikes an attractive option for environmentally conscious travelers.

In fact, the small environmental footprint of electric bikes has gained increasing attention in recent years as researchers from a variety of fields begin studying the ways these bikes might fit into efforts to make cities and communities more eco-friendly and sustainable. An article published by Scientific American, for example, reports that “transportation experts say ebikes—along with electric cars, light-rail trains and more pedestrian-friendly cities—could become one of the primary drivers of cleaner air and reduced global greenhouse emissions across much of the urbanized world.”7 The same source also noted that “the bicycle is an enormously efficient vehicle" and that ebikes emit ten times less carbon dioxide when compared to an electric car, once electricity sources are taken into account.

Conclusion

While there are any number of reasons that a particular cyclist might choose to ride an electric bike, three of the most important ones to take into consideration are the ways that electric bikes can help save time and money, the ways they help contribute to a healthier lifestyle, and the fact that they represent an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. At the end of the day, however, many cyclists choose electric bikes simply because they’re fun to ride. Perhaps one of the most important reasons for choosing an electric bike, then, is that they make it possible for people of all ages, skills, fitness levels, and abilities to enjoy the pure pleasure of riding a bike.



6 “The Power of $1 for Transportation,” EVELO, https://www.evelo.com/blog/power-1/. Accessed 3 January 2019.

7 “Can E-Bikes Displace Cars?” Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-ebikes-displace-cars/. Accessed 3 January 2019.