In recent years, mobility in cities has experienced many novelties. So many that we could speak without fear of exaggerating that a true revolution in urban mobility is taking place.
The first of these is the awareness that we need to change the way we move, especially in cities, to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. The other element is technology, and it resides in the supply: new forms of agile, cheap mobility have emerged and whose carbon footprint is much lower than that of the gasoline or diesel car that until now seemed untouchable. Among those alternatives is the electric bicycle.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike is a normal bicycle with the addition of an electric drivetrain. This consists of a battery, motor, and integrating the electric power to function in conjunction with the rider pedaling.
Some of the benefits of electric bikes are:
- They reduce time and distance by allowing for a flexible commuting route without traffic.
- They save money. By choosing to travel with your e-bike, you’re eliminating gas, insurance, and parking costs.
- They are cheap and an easy way to travel if you love the idea of free daily transport, fresh air and relaxing cycling.
- Using an e-bike means optimal time balance, prevents stress and promotes happiness.
- They’re environmentally friendly as they do not contribute to air pollution.
The future is electric bikes:
Research from McKinsey shows that cities around the world are gradually moving away from car transportation, and electric bikes account for a large part of why. For example, Madrid and Copenhagen now offer shared electric bikes, while commuters from England, the Netherlands and Denmark can commute to work on bike superhighways, roads that are larger than traditional cycle lanes, and have little or no disruption to commuters. Cyclists, who use these, exploit the full potential of their electric bikes.
“The existing urban infrastructure cannot support such an increase in vehicles on the road. Congestion is already close to unbearable in many cities and can cost as much as 2 to 4 percent of national GDP, by measures such as lost time, wasted fuel, and increased cost of doing business. Transport creates emissions of greenhouse gases; which produces smog and presents serious public-health concerns. The World Health Organisation estimated in 2014 that seven million premature deaths are attributable to air pollution, and a significant share is the result of urban transit causing early lung disease.”
Keep in mind that the electric bicycle is not a motorcycle. The electric motor provides, by law, pedalling assistance. And it must have a sensor that cannot accelerate if it is not pedalling. However, this type of vehicle avoids the inconveniences that many people used to give up using the bicycle on their daily journeys. “There is a lot of unevenness.” “It’s just that there’s a long way to go.” “It’s just that it took too long to arrive.” Well, an electric bicycle is still healthy, because it’s still a bicycle, but it solves those drawbacks: it overcomes hills with electric power, it helps to cover long distances, and it’s faster.
The Vancouver Sun has reported that “Local e-bike firms are experiencing a sharp
uptick in sales in the past two years, ranging from 100 to 500 percent growth”. Therefore, this indicates that the e-bike market has the potential to continue growing in Canada, especially in recent years as e-bikes are becoming increasingly recognized as an emerging mode of sustainable transport.
Shore, R. (2016, November 26). “E-bike sales are accelerating as riders seek an
added spark for quicker routes.”
Without a doubt, in the coming years we will see how alternatives to the private car gain dominance, and electric bicycles are destined to be one of the vehicles of the future in our cities.