How Electric Bikes Help the Planet? Are They Really Good for the Environment?
To answer these questions, we need to examine them from multiple angles using facts, data, and real-world examples, not just opinions. It is no longer controversial to say that humans have impacted the climate to a great degree. Environmental problems and our contributions to them cannot be ignored. Now the conversation must turn toward what to do about it.
Environmental problems such as melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, more volatile weather patterns, increased droughts, and more are all a result of the climate changing faster than it naturally would have without human intervention. Thankfully, e-bikes represent an excellent option in the fight to reduce man-made climate change. Here are five reasons that e-bikes help the planet and are good for the environment.
E-bikes are the Right Size for Most Trips
Various studies show that the average trip in a car is made by one person for the length of 11.5 miles. When one person drives an entire car for a simple errand or to drive to work, it often has wasted space. By using a smaller mode of transportation, such as a commuter e-bike with a rack, that same person can travel 11.5 miles without wasting unnecessary space or energy. By serving as the right-size micro-mobility option, e-bikes can be great for the environment. Some e-bikes can even fold up when not in use to be an even more convenient size. Storing a bike isn’t easy for everyone, but thanks to a quick fold, an e-bike like the lightweight Honbike HF01 can be taken indoors or placed inside a truck or car for easy transport.
E-bikes Use Minimal Amounts of Energy
To go one mile on an e-bike, significantly less energy is used than traveling one mile in a gas-engine vehicle. This is because e-bikes are smaller and weigh less than an entire car. Electricity is also a more affordable source of energy than oil or gas. For example, some estimates place the cost per charge of the average e-bike at $0.05 in the United States. If the e-bike can travel up to 45 miles on a single charge, such as the Honbike U4 commuter ebike, then you have only spent a fraction of what it would cost to travel 45 miles using expensive gasoline.
E-bikes Can Charge from Renewable Energy Sources
The electricity used to charge an electric bike will come from a coal plant, nuclear plant, solar panels, or wind farm. Most of the emissions then will be in the production of the ebike battery and the charging of it with energy from those sources. In the aggregate, this form of energy supply and transportation will have lower total emissions than gasoline supplies. Of course, when an e-bike is being pedaled solely by human power, it is using the ultimate form of renewable energy – the human body.
E-bikes Reduce Traffic Congestion and Road Damage
When discussing the planet and the environment, we need to examine all forms of pollution. Noise and light pollution is increased during heavy traffic when vehicles are crowded onto city streets. Not only will your use of an e-bike directly reduce the number of cars on the road, but it will also lead to less time for other cars on the road to sit idle. The more bike riders we have following e-bike traffic laws in the community, the more freely the remaining traffic may flow.
The roads will be quieter and more spacious, but they will also take less damage from the accelerating and braking of heavy cars all day long. Those stressors cause cracks and potholes which need to be repaired by heavy machinery, which is sure to be powered by diesel or gas fuel. Road construction further delays commuters and again causes idling cars. You’ll feel great about your contributions to society as you quietly zoom past idling cars with frustrated drivers. (And you’ll get to your destination on time!)
E-bikes Emit No Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Because an e-bike does not have an exhaust pipe kicking out carbon emissions, there are no direct additions to the environment’s pollution. It is fair to acknowledge that the emissions for electric vehicles come further upstream in the energy supply chain. One might argue that the emissions are just incurred prior to the point of charging. But the same could be said of moving the oil to refineries via tankers and then shipping gasoline to the end consumers at gas stations once it has been processed.
It’s also widely known that traditional power plants now release fewer emissions overall due to increases in natural gas, wind, and solar and decreases in the use of coal. Fossil fuels, in general, will slowly give way to these renewable and more energy-efficient sources. Until then, e-bikes represent a great way to bridge the gap and help the planet.
If civilizations are to continue to grow, we must find sustainable yet practical means of doing so. Using the right size mode of transportation is a great start. Unless you are traveling vast distances or taking multiple people with you, an e-bike can easily replace most trips around town or to work, especially with proper planning for your commute. That same e-bike uses less energy per mile traveled than a similarly powered gasoline bike or car. Not only does this mean it is more energy efficient, but it is also financially efficient, as charging a bike at home costs a fraction of filling up a gas tank.
E-bikes can rely on renewable resources, while internal combustion engine vehicles simply cannot. The use of gasoline is inseparable from non-electric cars. With no direct greenhouse gas emissions and no noise pollution, ebikes are also great for communities. They will reduce construction demands and increase the beauty of the area.
If you haven’t yet made the switch, consider riding an e-bike at least part-time. You need not completely give up your car. Try using an e-bike for one errand per week or taking it to the office. You’ll feel great thanks to the exercise, and so will the planet!
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