Today, cities across the globe are seeking new and effective eco-friendly practices to help preserve the health of Mother Nature. One of the bigger initiatives aims to reduce automotive VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled), which would minimize emissions and congestion.
No one enjoys bumper-to-bumper traffic during their morning commute to work.
Traditional cycling is a viable solution for reducing your carbon footprint. However, a majority of Americans aren’t flooding the shops to adopt this solution. The good news is, e-bikes have been gaining traction, rising in popularity with each passing year.
So, what exactly is driving their popularity?
Not only are they a cost-effective alternative to a car, but they also promote physical exercise while providing riders with the opportunity to travel further distances compared to traditional bikes.
Additionally, they help decrease air pollution, CO2 emissions, and the headache of navigating inner-city traffic. What more could you ask for?
Let’s take a deeper dive into how e-bikes can help you reduce your carbon footprint (and make our Earth happy).
The Eco-Friendly Nature of Traditional Bikes vs. E-Bikes
There is virtually zero difference in CO2 emissions produced by riding a conventional bike versus an e-bike.
According to a study conducted by the European Cyclist Federation:
A cyclist produces 21g of CO2 per kilometer traveled, while an e-bike rider generates approximately 22g of CO2 per km. When compared with more popular forms of transportation, these are incredible numbers, considering buses produce 101g and cars produce 271g.
Yikes. It truly makes you stop and think about what we’re actually breathing in each day.
The reason traditional bikes and e-bikes are nearly identical in CO2 emissions is that a person riding an e-bike tends to expend less energy than someone riding a traditional bike. This means they’re consuming fewer carbs and minimizing their carbon footprint.
E-bikes are becoming increasingly mainstream because consumers enjoy the pedal and motor assist modes. These features essentially level the playing field when it comes to the varying physical abilities of riders, allowing friends, family, and loved ones to cycle together.
In addition, for those using e-bikes to commute, they will get you to your destination quicker, travel further distances, and offer a sweat-free ride - saving you from needing a shower once you arrive at the office.
Environmental Impact of Electric Bikes
#1. They Produce Zero Emissions
Whereas trucks, cars, and motorcycles rely on gas and diesel to operate, e-bikes do not. They have been deemed a zero-emission vehicle because they run on clean energy. Because of the unique way e-bikes are built, they do not release harmful and unwanted pollution into the air.
#2. Like The Energizer Bunny, They Keep Going and Going
Reducing waste is one of the most widely recognized ways to decrease your carbon footprint. By scoring yourself an e-bike, you can ride happy because you’re producing little waste and helping our precious planet. That’s surely a reason to smile.
E-bikes also feature long-lasting batteries, meaning you can ride on and on without replacing them for long periods of time. And what’s more, they can be recycled when they’ve reached the end of their lifespan.
A majority of e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which are lead-free and safer for the environment.
#3. The Roads Will Thank You
Since e-bikes are lighter weight-wise, they typically cause minimal damage to the roads, unlike heavier forms of transportation. I bet you didn’t think of that.
Destruction to roadways from trucks and cars require heavy machinery to come and perform the necessary repair work. As you can imagine, these machines produce high emissions, leading to higher pollution levels and environmental damage.
#4. Green Transportation on The Weekends Too
Just like a computer isn’t solely used for tackling work-related projects (who can resist the Twitterverse, right?), electrics bikes aren’t purely purchased for commuting purposes. There’s a whole slew of e-bikes designed for off-roading, hunting, and conquering steep trails/mountains in your free time.
Think about all the activities you can enjoy, including the simple thrill of exploring different terrains. Besides hunting and mountain bikes, there are also cargo e-bikes, which are ideal for those who relish the opportunity to go shopping and need the extra power to transport goods.
#5. Minimal Impact on The Grid
As with most tech or products, calculating exact numerical figures is challenging as several different factors often come into play and can impact the outcome. For e-bikes, the type of model and a rider’s biking habits can ultimately influence their effect on the grid.
Say, one rider used their electric bike for approximately 1,000 miles per year, they could expect to use an estimated 20,000 - 25,000 watt-hours. To put that number into perspective, that would be equivalent to having a medium-sized air conditioning unit run for just about 22 - 28 hours.
If you’re seeking ways to circumvent the grid while charging up your e-bike, you may want to consider solar generators to really reduce your effect on the environment.
Keep Calm and Ride On
While you may not be able to fully replace your car with an e-bike, by regularly swapping into your electric bike to run errands, commute, or enjoy weekend activities, there’s no question that you’ll be greatly reducing your CO2 footprint.
Think about the monumental impact if thousands of people adopted e-bikes. The level of environmental impact between these two forms of transportation is truly no comparison.
So, have you considered incorporating an e-bike into your life?