The electric bike is still quite novel to many people, so I’ve put together a list of the five best reasons for choosing one for your short journeys.
On the city commutes and similar short trips which account for 80 per cent of electric bike usage, the electric bike wins by a large margin over every other sort of powered vehicles in terms of speediness. Although cars are able to go much faster, traffic conditions in congested areas reduce their mean speed on a busy journey to under 10mph.
Mopeds and motorcycles, which are able to pass lines of cars in grid-locked traffic and have the ability to weave in and out, are quicker than cars in heavy traffic, but must still use the same road system.
The electric bicycle has no such limitations. Not only can it dodge in and out of traffic on the highway, but it can go off the highway altogether and take short cuts through parks, greens and footpaths and other places where other road traffic is banned. This makes it the urban vehicle “par excellence.”
According to A to B Magazine ( website and the London Cycling Campaign, an electric bicycle costs 5 to 8 pence (GPB) to run, which is not much more than the 4.2 pence it costs to run a unassisted bicycle. This is normally due to battery depreciation.
However, if you compare it with a car, which according to the British Automobile Association costs between 1.00 and 1.70 per mile, the sum of money you can save by using an electric cycle swiftly becomes evident.
The electric bicycle is also exempt from parking fees and congestion charges. Financially, it has got to be the most desirable form of transport in built-up areas.
Clean and Green.
The electricity that runs an e-bike is without doubt one of the cleanest energy sources around, but you can cut your carbon footprint even more if you move to a green energy supplier, or use a photovoltaic or solar system to produce your own. Then the only CO2 emissions come from your lungs.
There is an environmental cost involved in the production of the machine in the first place, but since this is also the case with all bicycles, and even more so of motor cars, it’s something that we can disregard for this comparison.
An electric bicycle is no more dangerous than a bike, as long as you adopt sensible road safety practices. If anything, your ability to accelerate smartly and keep up a fair speed may give you an edge over the pedal cycle.
No need for a drivers licence or test. No MOT needed. No Road Tax needed. No registration plates, No compulsory insurance. No crash helmet. No… anything. Just get on and go!
Now that’s what I call freedom!
James Edgar is a writer and internet marketeer whose first website How to build an electric bike is a reflection of his–not always successful– efforts to live a throughly modern lifestyle in a natural and sustainable way.