Ever seen an electric bike before? If yes you have witnessed the recent craze for electric bikes in recent times. While electric bikes had been there for quite some time; interest for e-bikes has picked up recently. Global electric bike sales have jumped by 78% from 2017 to 2018.
Among college students, the growth is even higher at 96%. This shows many more college students now prefer an electric bike over sharing a car or using public transport.
Are you among those who wish to buy an e-bike but struggles to decide whether it worth your investment? What about their price? Aren’t they expensive and is an electric bike worth it? These were some of the questions everyone had before buying an e-bike.
An electric bikes range in between $600 to $6000. Now it depends on your need whether you should go with a cheaper model, mid-level or an expensive one. Without proper knowledge, it seems they are all good.
So let me explain in detail about the merits of having an electric bike. When you should buy an e-bike and when it’s better to go with a regular bike.
But first, let us understand what’s an electric bike and how does it work?
What’s An Electric Bike And How Does It Work?
An electric bike lets you commute from point A to B efficiently; without the hassle of public transport or the cost of gas or maintenance in a car. It’s a modern way to exercise without ever getting sweaty.
E-bikes are all about convenience, ease of use, torque, fuel economy, cost, extended range, low barrier to entry, better climbing efficiency and looking towards the future.
An electric bike is a hybrid bike with a motor assist. While it still allows you to peddle; it takes the effort out of it; so you can achieve more speed for the same effort. Most electric bikes can travel up to 30 miles per charge with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
This is a perfect answer to the cyclist needs who need peddle assistance, had to travel a lot carrying cargo, wants a daily commute without getting sweaty, is not that young to ride a regular bike or the hills in your town/city are too much to handle.
Depending upon its design, model or type, the eBike consists of an electric motor, rechargeable battery set, motor controller, gears or throttle, pedal, pedaling sensor, drivetrain and selector switch.
Most electric bikes look and feel much like a standard bike.
So it’s just an upgraded new version than a whole new thing. Not to mention you can turn off the assistance to make it a regular bike.
Benefits Of Riding An E-Bike
Electric bikes are great for everyone be it the kids, daily commuters or seniors. It has the looks of a road bike, feel of a mountain bike and is cute and unique like a fixie.
Some people like its futuristic feel, many cherish its intuitive controls and aesthetics; while some praise its ability to carry the load. Some of the key features they offer over other forms of transportation are:
1 ) Effortless Commuting
It doesn’t take much for the commuter to get sweaty with a regular bike. At first, it feels empowering and good. But soon it becomes too tiring especially if you need to cover a hilly path or longer distance. E-bikes make pedaling easier while still let you exercise and stay active.
Many high range electric bikes have this ability to switch between full power, pedal assist and no power modes. So you can use as you best prefer with maximum, comparatively low or least effort. While it still gives you the feel of traditional bikes you can go faster and longer with the same effort.
2 ) You Go Out More E-biking
In a recent report published by the National Institute For Transportation And Communities, the top three barriers to riding a bike are; hilly terrain, travel distance and getting gross sweating. Now based on the same report when 1800 riders are surveyed; the total number of daily bike riders soared from 55 to 91% once they switched to an e-bike.
It’s not strange as e-bikes don’t let your legs feel broked, feel less tired and help go faster making the trip enjoyable and tractive. The same survey found electric bikes are mostly used by males for commuting, exercise, and personal errands.
The survey also revealed that e-bikes are changing the way you ride your bicycle. Now you ride more often, to a longer distance, choosing different paths that pass more often through hills and heavy traffic. Further female riders seem to be more satisfied with their e-bikes; although they account for just 20% of total ridership.
3 ) These Are Environment Friendly
When compared to cars, motorcycles or other forms of transportation an e-bike has a minimal carbon footprint. That too if the energy it take while charging is produced via nonrenewable sources. That is why many environmentalists preach to use electric bicycles.
Electric bikes reduce waste, help reduce traffic congestion, is eco-friendly and take minimal power to operate. It is so efficient that it is considered the future of transportation. Major car manufacturer like Ford has already started working on their e-bikes. With awareness of global warming, such initiatives are only going to expand.
4 ) E-Biking Is Fun
As soon as you went for a ride it feels refreshing and less stressed. Different people have different levels of stress in their life and so take a different approach to let off that extra burden. But have personally found cycling to be refreshing, boosts mood and relieves stress.
In a recent report published by “CYCLE-PLAN” pedaling helps reduce cortisol levels. It is a hormone that causes fight or flight response and is responsible for stress, depression, and anxiety. Further biking can help you practice mindfulness, improve social life and boost self-esteem.
5 ) You Can Save Some Money
Electric bikes are expensive but not all are the same. The average cost of an electric bike per thousand sale is $960. While the price range is between $450 to $6000; the majority of e-bikes sold are below $1400. On the other hand, the average cost of a new car is $36K while of a used car is $18K.
On top, you have other operational costs with a car such as Gas, repairs, insurance, licensing, and registration. At the end, an electric bike seems too easy on your wallet. These are a one-time investment as are inexpensive to maintain, do not need Gas to operate and can be used anywhere.
6 ) Requires Less paper Work
With most electric bike ( below 750W ) you do not require to register the vehicle. Further, you do not need a driving license, vehicle insurance, and helmet ( in most places ) much like a regular bike. Since they have less moving parts you need not need to worry about lubrication.
The maximum regulation in certain US states require you to wear a helmet for Class/Type III e-bikes. So it have very low bearer to entry and offers the best of both worlds; moped and a mountain bike. Be it greater speed, high mobility, comfort, longer distance, and versatility.
7 ) They Can Go Prety Fast For A Bike
Most e-bikes are pedelec in nature meaning the harder you peddle the bigger will be the boost. The recorded top speed for an electric bike is 45 mph, but commercially available E-bikes go as much as 30 mph. So you can go fast and quick if you want.
If your city has a dedicated cycling lane you can reach faster with an e-bike than using the subway. Further being slim and light you can easily get through traffic jams or can change your route in no time. Further, you can control the amount of assist you need.
Final Verdict: Are Electric Bikes Worth It?
Every vehicle in the market offers some value in one way or another. Similarly, an electric bike offers a great deal of value to a person in need while for some it may be just a show-off out to the world, their boyfriend or girlfriend. So the real worth of your investment depends on your use!
So ask yourself whether you want something to save money? Do you want a vehicle that supports your active lifestyle? Something that is good for commuting? Do you need something for exercise? The questions may change from person to person so it’s better you ask yourself.
Rest assured an electric bike will add value to your life with better acceleration, zero-emission, fuel economy, lower cost, futuristic and vibration free-riding experience. So keep riding, explore more and lead this revolution against fossil fuels.