In honor of National Bike-To-Work Week, we’re taking a closer look at how, and why, electric bikes have been quickly transforming the world’s commuting habits. And, while this revolution may have taken a bit more time reaching American consumers, the worldwide micro-mobility movement is showing no signs of slowing anytime soon.
By a wide margin, electric bikes are the #1 selling electric vehicle in the world.
E-bike sales in the U.S. have grown more than 300% since 2016 and that trend is accelerating quickly.
In China, the world’s largest community of e-bike riders, more people reported using an e-bike than a traditional bike during the previous month. Hong Kong boasts a staggering number of residents using e-bike ride share programs, with 21% of the population using an e-bike from a share program in the last year.
The e-bike market in Europe, a continent with a rich bicycle culture, continues to experience staggering growth. In the Netherlands, e-bike sales surpassed traditional bike sales in 2018. Germany reached a milestone of 1 million e-bikes sold last year and 1 in 4 of every bicycle sold was an electric one.
With Good Reason:
Of course, there are a myriad of benefits associated with e-bike use and ownership, but when it comes to commuting specifically, electric bikes offer a stunningly practical and accessible alternative to traditional modes of transportation.
Go Green: Even replacing a fraction of car miles with increased e-bike transportation has a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions. The bottom line is simple: E-bikes are a zero emission vehicle. Because they don’t burn any fuel, electric bicycles don’t release any gases to the atmosphere. The average car, however, releases over 2 tons of carbon dioxide gas every year.
Be Happy: “I absolutely love getting stuck in traffic, spending nearly $100 bucks filling up my gas tank, struggling to keep my uncontrollable road rage in check, and fighting other drivers for a decent parking spot,” said absolutely NO ONE EVER! The average American spends a (miserable) 51 minutes on their daily commute, and studies show that even commutes as short as 10 miles inflict very real physical damage, including rises in blood sugar levels, higher cholesterol, increases in depression and anxiety, temporary blood pressure spikes and even poor sleep quality. Commuting on an e-bike, on the other hand, is linked to greater job productivity, reduced stress, increased emotional well-being, reduced absenteeism and improved cardiovascular health.
Get Fit: One of the great misconceptions about electric, pedal-assist bikes is that you’re not getting any significant exercise while riding. Perhaps this fallacy is rooted in the belief that exercising can’t possibly be fun. With an e-bike, however, you might actually get even fitter than you might with a traditional bike. The boost of power fuels confidence and, ultimately, promotes longer and farther rides. Riding an e-bike for an hour can burn upwards of 390 calories. Not too shabby considering you’re also having a blast and saving the environment!
Save Money: Sure, there is an initial investment in purchasing a new e-bike, but the savings that follow are considerable! Let’s start with the few hundred dollars worth of savings just on gas. Parking costs are completely eliminated. And, regular upkeep on an electric bike is a tiny fraction of what’s spent to maintain and service a car. Isn’t it great to SAVE money while you’re also saving the environment, having fun and losing weight!
No Excuses, Get Going!: Possibly the very best benefit of e-bike commuting is circumventing the typical hassles associated with riding your bike to work. Electric bikes take you farther and faster than traditional bikes, and with far less effort. You don’t have to worry about waking up an hour earlier because your transit time is quadrupled, or packing a change of clothes and taking a shower at work because you’re drenched in sweat from the ride, or worry about making it up another hill or incline on your way to the office. With an electric bike, you get all of the upside of riding your bike to work without any of the inconveniences.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s Ride!