E-Bikes – Ideal Alternative Transportation for Daily Commutes
The transport industry is continually evolving. For a while, boats were the coolest mode of getting around. Then, the amatory carriages and wagons made their way across dirt roads. Next was the good ol’ train, hauling products and the masses goods across the country. Moreover, before we knew it, we decided to settle on cars, buses, and airplanes.
Since then, most of us have been wondering what the next widely sort-out-for mode would be. It didn’t take that much time before we had the e-bikes which have become the most popular mode of transport since Sir Richard Branson rode an e-bike around San Francisco. People are now opting to swap regular bicycles and cars with an e-bike. In both major and small cities, e-bikes are providing bike enthusiasts, adventure seekers and those looking for a way to lose some weight a fun, affordable alternative to oversubscribed, undependable public transport. It is because they’re more convenient, faster, and they support the move towards a greener environment.
As per recent statistics by the Department of Transportation, half of all trips are 3 miles or fewer which one can comfortably navigate by bike (even more so by e-bike), yet people make 75% of these trips by car and only 2% by bicycle.
Between May 2017 and May 2018, e-bike sales in America shot to 83% as per recent industry analysis. These sales now make up for 10% of overall bike sales in the US. With the bikes having a price tag of between $2000 and $3000 (equated to $1000 for a middle of the range commuter bicycle), e-bikes are becoming a viable choice (particularly if you factor in the maintenance and fuel costs) for commuters looking to swap shorter trips usually made by car.
E-bikes vs. the CompetitionThe number of populaces in New York has grown by almost 400 000 since 2010, and there were 10 million more tourists in 2015 than in 2010. That situation puts pressure on the transport system irrespective of what mode of transportation commuters are using to get by their daily routines.With the current ever-changing trends in urbanization, it means that the growth rate in other cities around America are becoming similar, thus resulting to longer commutes since residents are forced to move further away from the Central Business District. However, even with these changes taking place, the capacity of the existing transport infrastructure is not adequate to meet the increased demand.
E-bikes Vs. Regular CyclesPedaling to work has always been a popular option in parts of Western Europe and Asia, but not so much in America. With the extensive lists of requirements for professionalism in the workplace, the long bicycle commutes and limited infrastructure for cyclists in America, cycling is often not the most convenient option for them.This is, however, slowly changing as city developers have recognized the vitality of decreasing the level of congestion on roads and as a result, the bicycle infrastructure is improving. However, with issues like arriving at work sweaty from a long cycle commute, it is not yet the most viable option. That is where e-bikes come in since they provide a more convenient, less physically demanding alternate.
Tidbits About BikesIn various American cities, the e-bike-share system has been gaining popularity. In fact, since the first electric bike sharing system was launched in 2011 by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville followed by a city-wide bike sharing system in Birmingham, Alabama, over 30% of residents have adopted this system.More and more cities are now adopting the system, and in 2016, Utah unveiled their plans for an e-bike-share system followed some other states.With the increase of these systems, other conventional bike share systems are following suit, integrating e-bikes into their existing non-motorized fleets, with suppliers like LimeBike, Jump Bike and Motivate paving the way, providing consumers with dockless e-bikes in major cities like Austin, Denver, and Sacramento.
Electric Bikes Vs. Public Transport
In American cities, commuters travel via the subway or buses to get to work. However, in most cities, like New York, the subway system is infamously undependable and forlornly oversubscribed.
E-bikes offer an inexpensive alternative (if you take into account annual public transport passes) that is still swift, with an analogous environmental impact. They also elucidate the ‘first and last mile problem’ that makes many commuters bypass the public transport system completely.
Electric Bikes Vs. CarsWhile there have been talks of electric vehicles since the Jetson’s promised us flying cars back in the ’70s, the future of cars has never seemed to arrive. Cars are still the same old despite the numerous changes they have gone through since the 80s.In fact, throughout America, car sales amongst millennials, those born between 1981 and 2004, have fallen by over 40%. Why have they been plummeting? Well, this is mostly because owning a car is unreasonable and expensive.If you take into account insurance rates, maintenance and repairs, parking costs, registration fees, and fuel; it is around 30 times more practical on annual payments to own an e-bike rather than a car.Regarding convenience, e-bikes also have lots to offer over cars. They are more straightforward to store, maintain and ‘refuel’ especially for those living in crowded environs.
State councils have initialized the process of differentiating and defining electric bikes, as well as executing laws that standardize their operation, equipment standards an and entrée to roadways and trails.
On a state level e-bikes were defined and endorsed in 2002, and they are now distinguished from gas-powered motor vehicles like scooters and motorcycles. Twenty-seven states across America, alongside Washington D.C., have legitimately defined electric bikes.
In California, and ten other cities, there are three defined classes of e-bike designated based on speed, and the law controls where each is permitted to be ridden.
In New York, pedelec e-bikes will soon be legal, as Mayor de Blasio said “The new e-bike rule will identify that pedal-assist bikes are permitted. However, throttle e-bikes will not be legalized in New York City under State law.” He also stressed the opportunity that they present as they “assist cyclists to commute to longer distances and quickly climb steep hills.”
- Class 1 (Pedelec):Defined as a bicycle equipped with a motor that only offers aid when the rider is actively pedaling (pedelec), restricted to a speed of 20 miles/hour.
- Class 2 (Throttle): It is equipped with a motor that may entirely propel the bike (throttle), restricted to 20 miles/hour.
- Class 3 (Spedelec): It helps only when the rider is pedaling up to speeds of 28 miles/hour (spedelec).
The purpose of purchasing an electric bike varies – from an inexpensive, convenient commuting alternative to a less arduous option compared to cycling (especially in hilly environs).
An e-bike has a similar environmental impact to public transport, but there is often a more desirable, dependable alternative and it is relatively low-priced compared to the costs of possessing a car.
Additionally, it has an abridged physical effect as compared to cycling, and it is easy to see why e-bikes are outshining the competition.
Even though legislative inferences are not very precise in most cities, e-bike popularity and regular updates by policymakers point towards an accumulative uptake in e-bike ownership in the United States.