Electric bikes are battery-powered bicycles that receive propulsive assistance from an electric motor. Not all electric bikes are the same, however, as some require the rider to pedal before they can make use of the motor, while others come with a motor controlled by a throttle, giving you that electric power without having to pedal. There are even differences in power, battery placement, and features. In terms of speed, however, e-bikes have an upper bound of 28 mph.
According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, there has been a 33% increase in electric bike sales throughout the U.S., with overall sales revenue hitting a reported $1.3 billion. E-bikes keep getting more affordable, and they’re performing better with every technological advancement. In places like the European Union, infrastructure has even made them a viable alternative to cars. And this brings us to the cultural impact of e-bikes and the various ways in which this impact is expressed.
The transportation sector accounts for a significant percentage of emissions and any effort to travel without fossil fuels is therefore worthwhile. Every mile cycled on an e-bike is a mile you’ve traveled without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why it’s even encouraged that you use e-bikes for short trips, considering you can’t exactly cycle from state to state, for instance.
By choosing to travel the green way, you not only spare the environment from toxic fumes, which means less air pollution, but the use of e-bikes also decreases the pressure on us to keep extracting natural resources. As people increasingly ditch their cars for e-bikes, the demand for crude oil decreases. Since crude oil extraction can be harmful to wildlife, that’s a win because for wildlife and natural resources as a whole.
One of the reasons people don’t like normal bicycles is all the work you have to put in when using them. Having motorized help from an e-bike is all the more reason to use one. With an e-bike, you know you’re going to get some exercise in, with the only difference being that extra power boost you get from the electrical arrangement.
It’s that extra power that also gives more people access to cycling. From the elderly to asthma sufferers, and people of all fitness levels; the e-bike can be a life-changing addition to their lives. Add to the fact that cardio exercise is linked to reduced depression and anxiety, and you’ve hit the transportation lottery.
Electric bicycles can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $1000, depending on the make. Cars, on the other hand, typically don’t cost less than $1000. It isn’t just the initial buying cost which you’ll find to be higher. Maintaining a car can typically set you back no less than $1000, depending on what kind of car you own. When it comes to e-bikes, you can expect to fork out only a tenth of that price and if you take out a Whizz e-bike subscription, you’ll enjoy free maintenance throughout the course of your subscription.
The increasing popularity of e-bikes isn’t just good for your own pocket, it can also serve to boost the local economy. You’ll have locals selling biking equipment, implements, and entire e-bikes as the industry grows. Some will even offer maintenance or repair services. Rather than spending money on imported fossil fuels to power your vehicle, you’ll travel with the power of good old human effort as well as electricity; both of which are highly sustainable.
It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at cycling or what age you are, you could even have mobility issues, and an e-bike can help maximize what little power you have while allowing you to enjoy a greater traveling range. This is all thanks to the drive system, which consists of the motor and the battery. E-bikes have truly lowered the bar when it comes to cycling, which means more people can take part and benefit from it.
One of the striking differences between cars and e-bikes is size. E-bikes are significantly smaller than cars, meaning they can reach places that cars can’t. All it takes is a narrow lane or a path for an e-bike to travel, while cars require wider roads. As e-bikes continue to feature prominently in our society, we’ll soon notice how transportation patterns are going to change. It’ll soon be the norm to see waves of e-bikers taking to the road on their daily commute. We’re going to see whole clubs emerge from the e-biking scene, as e-bike riders continue to make their presence felt on the streets, and it’s such an exciting development to see.
Like any technological advancement, e-bikes are set to cause quite a stir in culture. They’re already warming people’s hearts to the idea of sustainable transportation. E-bikes have become a responsible way to travel, a statement representing one’s commitment to making the world a better place.
We’re talking about a literal cultural phenomenon that will change our surroundings as we know them. With e-bike use rising, governments are put under pressure to improve infrastructure to accommodate them. Commuter routines are also in line for a major transformation since the average commuter produces hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide per year traveling to work. We can start to picture our roads lined with e-bikes ridden by professionals, as a result.
E-bikes are bound to become a greater part of our lifestyle thanks to the convenience and efficiency they provide. We’re likely going to see advancements in lithium-ion battery technology improve to the point where e-bikes can be ridden for longer distances. We’re going to see motors that are lighter, more durable, and more powerful than the ones on the market right now. We can even anticipate the emergence of e-bikes that run on solar energy in the near future.
E-bikes are also being optimized with integrated smart features. Electronic gear shifting, sensors, and alarms, location tracking; all of these are going to be the norm with e-bikes. We’re already seeing some makes being fitted with smartphone connectivity and smart locks. All of these are great selling points for e-bikes, and they only bear testament to just how desirable they are and will be.
What’s more, e-bikes keep becoming more and more pleasant to ride. With every new model manufacturers bring out, the expectation for a smoother ride only increases. Producers of e-bikes will continue to make them more comfortable, increasing functionality while giving people something appealing to look at. The entire e-bike experience is being worked on, and that’s something that is sure to draw people to them.
We can go on raving about just how great e-bikes are but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any challenges and limitations to consider before purchasing one. For one, there’s range anxiety, which is when electric bike riders get worried about the battery running out before getting to where they’re going. For those relying on that extra electric power, the question of just how much battery life is left often arises.
There’s also the issue of infrastructure requirements. Many cities simply don’t accommodate cyclists as it is. Given the speed and power of these e-bikes, the roads they’re ridden need to be up to standard. The trick will also be in giving cyclists access to the urban landscape without causing too much of a disturbance with the current modes of transportation. Cities will need to have enough charging stations and spaces dedicated to storing and parking e-bikes.
Before e-bikes can fully be a part of society as we know it, attitudes toward them are going to have to change. People will have to stop seeing electric bikes as merely being for hipsters or those that are better off. They have a long way to go in the hearts and minds of the masses. People will need convincing to the point that they start to see e-bikes as a worthy alternative to cars. Once this barrier of perception and acceptance is conquered, we should begin to see the e-bike revolution make a bigger impact on our lives.
Due to how much faster and heavier e-bikes are compared to normal bicycles, there may be safety concerns. With improper riding practices and ill-preparedness, they can pose a serious danger to both pedestrians on the streets as well as their riders. For this reason, it’s important for cyclists to be trained on safety precautions, measures, and best practices. Equally important for safety purposes will be the drawing up and tightening up of the legislative framework surrounding e-bikes. Proper policy-making and regulation will ensure that e-bikes remain a safe form of transportation option for all.
The doubling of demand every year has led the e-bike industry to a position of optimistic financial forecasts. Some estimates suggest it could be worth close to $100 billion by the end of the decade. In the backdrop of a current health and climate change crisis, the smart money is on e-bikes. Everybody wants to be fit, and we’d all prefer it if Mother Nature didn’t lash out at us for abusing fossil fuels.
The e-bike business is earmarked for an incredible amount of innovation, too. We’re going to see A.I. and machine learning being integrated into e-bikes, and it’s likely that the Internet of Things will come into play at a more intimate level. With efficiency evangelized, there’s going to be a greater emphasis on more sustainable and eco-friendly means of production. Even when it comes to powering the e-bikes, optimization must be the order of the day. Just as roads that charge cars as they’re driven on have been developed, we can expect to see electrifying e-bike road lanes in the future.
E-bikes are going to communicate with and connect to your car. They’re going to share information. You may even be able to one day charge your e-bike on a train. A big thing in technology right now is devices collaborating with each other for the greater convenience of the user. The same is sure to apply to e-bikes and other forms of transport. E-bikes won’t just compete with the car industry, for example, they may serve to complement it.
As urban planners make city spaces more accessible to cyclists, future growth will have to be in mind. They’ll have to picture a world where e-bikes feature prominently in our transportation system, and plan accordingly. They’ll need to literally design cities in such a way that it makes sense for people to travel by e-bike. There will also be a focus on how the infrastructure can add to the efficiency and effectiveness of e-bikes as a mode of transport.
E-bikes have changed and will continue to change the way we act, the institutions that govern us, and the conventions we observe. We’ve seen how various forms of transportation have brought our civilization to where it is today. Take the art and science of sailing, it elevated the level of trade among men. More than that, it influenced art and literature, warfare, and even language. It just goes to show just how much of an effect a form of transport can have on culture.
The electric bike will change how we interact and how we assemble. They’ll change the way we seek pleasure from our environment and they’ll alter our ethics and challenge our beliefs. Every aspect of society will respond to the increased adoption of e-bikes. It’s just a question of how fast these developments are going to be made.
The story of transport is the story of humanity, at the end of the day. It’s a story of ambition, of wanting to push beyond what is humanely possible. This is the story of the electric bike. It’s the principle of perseverance, it’s making the most of what you have, it’s thinking about your future and your legacy. It’s all of it at once, and more.
E-bikes have a practical application in our lives, but they’re also proving to impress the imagination. They’re personal but at the same time communal in nature. They appeal to both those more attracted to simpler times and those looking forward to the future. This is the reason for electric bikes making such a big statement on society, and this is why they are here to stay.
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