The number of eBikes and eScooters owners are climbing steadily around the globe.
The growing trend isn’t surprising when you look at the benefits of owning one – you can cut down on pollution, get healthier, and boost your social life.
Here’s how electric bikes and electric scooters are changing the world. One ride at a time.
Smaller environmental footprint.
A study1 comparing the environmental impacts of eBikes vs other modes of transport found electric two-wheelers emit several times lower pollution per kilometre than motorcycles and cars.
Where cars and motorcycles typically run on gas and diesel that release carbon emissions into the atmosphere, e-bikes don’t rely on fuel.
This is a huge benefit for the air quality in our environment and our lungs. Air pollution increases the risk of respiratory problems and cardiovascular diseases such as artery blockages leading to heart attacks.
While electric bikes and electric scooters don’t pump pollution out of a tailpipe like other road vehicles, the battery still needs to be recharged regularly.
This uses energy too – so the ability to reduce carbon emissions depends on the carbon cost of electricity in the region.
Charging the battery using a renewable energy source instead (eg: solar power) is a thoughtful way to reduce your environmental footprint even further.
The process of manufacturing each eBike or eScooter requires environmental resources too but with electric mobility technology continually evolving, we can look forward to increasingly sustainable options.
Overall though, it’s clear they’re a far greener alternative than jumping in the car - helping to minimise energy consumption and air pollution.
The best part? eBikes and eScooters are a fun way to cut down on car use - not like waiting around for the bus.
The impact of eBikes on travel behaviour highlighted in a study of 80 participants who were loaned an electrically-assisted bike for a 6–8 week period.
Not only did the group reduce their car mileage by 20% overall, at least 70% said they’d like to have access to an eBike in the future and would cycle more if this was the case.
Much lighter than other vehicles, eBikes and eScooters also reduce the amount of wear and tear on our roads and they’re quieter too. Anyone who lives in a busy urban centre knows noise pollution is real!
eBikes and eScooters are making us healthier.
Another way eBikes and eScooters are making the world a better place? We’re getting healthier.
When it comes to health fitness electric bikes aren’t “cheating” or lazy.
Quite the opposite.
Science has proved riding an eBike can help you torch those calories and improve your cardiovascular health. Electric bikes have been the turning point for many otherwise sedentary people to off the couch and kickstart a more active lifestyle.
They’re also the cycling salvation of riders who thought they may have to give up biking due to injury or age. With eBikes, they continue to do what they love and maintain an active lifestyle.
We’ve dove into the health and fitness benefits of eBikes here – but what about electric scooters?
They’re a great form of active travel to incorporate some low-intensity exercise into your routine and improve stability too.
Electric scooters help increase core strength and balance. When you use your legs to kick out, you’ll be working out your legs and using your glute and thigh to help stabilise you. You’re also standing on an eScooter – a healthy change for your body if you spend a lot of your day hunched over a desk.
Sure, they might not offer the same level of exercise as a traditional scooter – but you’ll get more than sitting in the car or doing nothing at all!
If you’re new to exercising, small wins can go a long way to boosting your motivation and helping you stick with your commitment to increased activity.
Encourage social connection.
Social connection! It’s one of the benefits of an electric bike or scooter that can be overlooked – until you have one.
From Pedal to People: The Social Effects of Biking (a working paper) explores the social effects of biking on the community.
The paper found bikers generally feel a good sense of community with bikers around them, and this connection increases as the bikability of a city improves.
Beyond fostering social connections, the paper also points out bicycle infrastructure and activity can enhance street and neighbourhood identity. As less space is needed for parking, biking can allow for more preservation of parks and recreational areas.
1Comparative environmental impacts of electric bikes in China
Authors: Christopher Robin Cherry, Jonathan X. Weinert, Yang Xinmiao. July 2009 | Transportation Research Part D Transport and Environment 14(5):281-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2008.11.003. Source RePEc.
Electrically-assisted bikes: Potential impacts on travel behaviour
Authors: S.Cairns, F.Behrendt, D.Raffo, C.Beaumont, C.Kiefere.
From Pedal to People: The Social Effects of Biking
Author: Zach Bielak. June 2015. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30923.18721. State: In Progress.