Let me start by giving you a few interesting statistics.
In 2015, e-bike sales were said to have doubled. In 2016, the rate of the e-bike market in the UK was estimated to have grown by 20 percent – with a total of between 30,000 and 35,000 e-bike units being sold last year. It’s not just the UK though. In Europe, more than one million electric bikes were bought in 2016 and it’s already clear that 2017 is going to smash this figure.
I think it’s pretty obvious then, that e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular. But why is that?
What does this mode of transport offer you and what are the benefits over other forms of travel?
In this article, I’ll suggest a few reasons you should join this mega-trend and buy an electric bike in 2017. I’ve limited my list to ten, but to be honest, I love e-bikes so much I could give you even more!
1.) Alternative commuting
The average e-bike has the ability to reach assisted speeds of around 15mph.
The average speed for a commuting journey with an e-bike works out at about 12.8mph (for a young healthy male).
This means you’ll overtake all that gridlocked traffic and still arrive to work feeling fresh, thanks to the helping hand from the e-bike’s motor.
For anyone who lives within a reasonable distance of their place of work, electric bikes could provide a
comfortable commute. Some systems offer a range above 100 miles and even budget electric bikes offer 20 to 30 miles.
The e-bike commute is particularly useful for those living and working in busy cities.
Currently, most people either use public transport or drive their car when commuting – but both of these modes of transport are susceptible to delays, traffic, and general stress.
Many people will often leave the house much earlier than they need to, in order to accommodate for these delays or in the hopes of avoiding them altogether. Those who travel by electric bike are rarely subject to the same kind of delays.
Apart from being a healthier and less expensive way to travel to work and back, the e-bike could also help you eliminate these lifestyle time pressures and let you enjoy a couple more hours sleep over the course of a week. Sound good so far?
I’m pretty sure it does, but you may want to hear a few more of the benefits before jumping in and making a purchase – so let’s continue!
When people who are new to the idea hear the word electric bike, I know from first-hand experience, they will generally jump to the conclusion that they are too costly for them without actually knowing the reality – that e-bikes can be an incredibly cheap method of transport.
Firstly, yes, they do generally cost over £1,000 and can even be up to £4,000-£5,000 for the sporty brand name models, but the average cost is much cheaper than a car.
At the lower end of the price bracket, e-bikes are often a similar price to a decent push bike.
The initial outlay money spent here will be covered pretty quickly when factoring in the running costs. It costs on average just six pence to recharge the standard electric bike.
Although both the car and public transport are more common modes of travel, we all know how taxing these things can be on the bank account. With the likes of MOT, petrol, taxes, insurance, Oyster cards, parking charges, and bus passes all costing huge amounts, all of these money worries could be forgotten in the long term with the acquisition of an e-bike.
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of this when commuting, but this isn’t applicable to the nine-to-five crowd alone. Tube and bus strikes happen all year round, during the week or at the weekends, as is the case with roadworks and traffic jams.
With an e-bike there’s no wasting your weekend waiting in queues for a bus, sitting in traffic or trying to cram on to an overcrowded metro – you just set off on your own schedule.
With the option of cutting corners and sailing through city centres on the weekend, the e-bike is arguably the most efficient way of getting from point A to point B as you are naturally much less at the mercy of the irritations of the road.
Other notable conveniences I should mention include the ability to re-charge the bike’s battery at home without trips to the petrol station and the ability to park up quickly and easily – another big plus point in a busy city and a time-saver when getting into work every day.
Not only could the e-bike be the answer to a reduction in stress levels and a better sleeping routine, but there are many other health benefits that this mode of transport could provide.
Although it’s not as intense as the push bike, the electric bike still provides a good level of exercise depending on the power assist settings that you use, and can dial up and down.
Exercise equals improved health and the e-bike is a great opportunity to make a significant lifestyle change. For those who really feel uncomfortable about the idea of jumping into intense daily exercise, the e-bikes are also significantly less intimidating than the standard push-bike, with the motor naturally removing some of the pressures and giving you a hand up steep inclines.
Although being around in modern form for almost 30 years in Japan, electric bikes are relatively new to the UK with the first specialist retailer opening here in 2005. Many people that think cycling isn’t for them can easily be reintroduced to the fun and benefits if they give an electric bike a try. We all know someone that could cycle more.
Not only will getting yourself an e-bike be beneficial to your health, but also to the health of the planet. We all know the effects that both fuel consumption and emissions are having on our home in the likes of sustainability and global warming.
Switching to an electric bike will no doubt help to reduce your individual carbon footprint so you can be a hero just by having fun.
I have mentioned a lot about the advantages e-bikes have over fuel-based travel, but they do also have advantages over the standard push bike.
Think about cycling uphill for example, or with kids or the weekly shop on the back. Electric bikes give you super-human-like abilities and allow you to do more without wishing you hadn’t, making it a fantastic car-alternative in many situations.
We’ve even got customers that run their businesses from electric bikes offering everything from gardening services to ice creams. The possibilities are endless!
The motorised features of e-bikes are not only beneficial in their utility but also in more leisurely ways. Who doesn’t like a bit of fresh air and exploration in their free time? The electric bike will allow you to push the boundaries of this more than either walking or a push-bike ever could.
The assistance from e-bikes (or e-trikes) can help people feel much younger and prove to be the best transport solution for members of a community with age or health-related physical limitations. Modern, healthy, cost-effective transport that everyone can use is essential for mobility and equality.
You don’t have to worry about getting tired, just switch on the drive and the bike will do the work for you. Additionally, for those who still like the challenge of a country bike ride, e-bikes have the option of cutting the motors off completely, so you’ll still have the option of a traditional weekly bike ride if that’s your style. For off-roading with friends, the power doesn’t stop you cycling, on the contrary, you will probably apply greater enthusiasm to go further, faster, higher and harder than you’ve ever gone before.
We’ve got something we call ‘the electric smile’ – it’s actually a thing!
There’s a reason so many people are cycling and/or motorbike fanatics, purely because it’s a source of enjoyment. For those into either of these, or others who are looking for a fun new hobby, I would whole-heartedly recommend the e-bike. It could be just the ticket, especially when looking at all the benefits already mentioned. A sustainable way of satisfying the biking urges, with significantly fewer limits on your freedoms. What could be better?
Although many might look to e-bikes as a new source of fun, others who have more competitive tendencies might dismiss electric bikes with the assumption that they are not sporty. However, this is not the case. Electric Mountain Bikes (EMTB) are the latest and fastest growing sub-category of electric bikes, and for those who want to push the limits of what a bike can do, this one will certainly be for you. Forget having to get off and walk your bike in tricky terrain, the ETMB will open the door to a whole new world of off-road biking. Discover the uphill flow with a Bosch performance CX system or the incredible Yamaha PWx system and find your new limits.
Those who have already invested in an electric bike, for whatever reason, have fallen in love with them. E-bikes don’t have a single target market, but certainly cater to many people’s different needs. Upon giving feedback, our customers tell us that the electric bike is the best product they’ve ever bought and haven’t looked back since! I’m pretty sure if you give an e-bike a go you will love it too.
So, there you have it. There are so many reasons why electric bikes are transforming transport in Europe and around the world and why you, or someone you know, could benefit from buying one this year.
I’ll be watching for all those ‘electric smiles’ putting in the miles.
Written by Eddie Kehoe,
The Electric Transport Shop,