E-bikes are affordable, practical and good for the planet
America has hosted its fair share of heavyweight transportation fights.To get more news about Fat Tire Electric Bikes
, you can visit magicyclebike.com official website.
Canals gave way to freight trains. Freight trains gave way to big rigs. Horses gave way to cars.
In one corner are those who swear, "Yes." They'll tell you on a cost-per-mile equivalent, bicycles powered by electric motors can get thousands of miles to the gallon compared to a typical gas-powered car. E-bikes also efficiently transport a rider from point A to B with zero carbon emissions, similar to an electric car but at a fraction of the price. They are the future, proponents say. Just wait and see.
“For years I’ve been saying the e-bike is going to be as ubiquitous as the smartphone,” said Mike Radenbaugh, founder and CEO of Rad Power Bikes, the largest U.S.-based e-bike company. “Everything we’re doing is to create a true car replacement … to help stoke this consumer revolution that’s underway but has not hit the tipping point yet.”
In the other corner are no shortage of detractors. Some cite safety; studies suggest higher rates of serious injury for e-bike riders. Others note environmental concerns about battery production and disposal. Perhaps most prominent are those who say e-bikes just don't fit in on American roadways, where their typical top speeds of about 20 mph can irritate slower pedal-powered bicyclists and faster car drivers alike.
E-bike sales are soaring
In 2001, the two-wheeled, all-electric, self-balancing Segway launched. At the time, inventor Dean Kamen delivered an infamous prediction to Time magazine that the vehicle would “be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.”
That never came to pass. By the time Segways fell out of production two years ago, just 140,000 units had been sold, Fast Company reported.
The e-bike has already vastly surpassed those figures. Buoyed by COVID-19 lockdowns and high gas prices, 880,000 e-bikes were imported into the United States in 2021 alone, according to the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA), a trade group that promotes “micromobility” devices. Imports are expected to ease just slightly in 2022 to 750,000, meaning there will still be millions of the vehicles on U.S. roads and trails.
Ed Benjamin, founder and chairman of LEVA, believes the ceiling could be much higher. He’s traveled the world as a professional in the e-bike space since the 1990s and has come to see them dominate the landscape in East Asian and European cities. He calculates there are more than 350 million in use worldwide.
“People ask me, ‘Is (a transformation) ever going to happen?’ and I kind of chuckle,” Benjamin said. “It’s been happening, but in the United States we’re not used to it.”
To Benjamin, the fact that populations worldwide are trending toward cities, including in the U.S., means that electric bikes, scooters, skateboards and similar devices aren’t going anywhere. Even as some device-sharing experiments with e-scooters petered out in U.S. cities in recent years, overall sales are expected to continue to grow.
“Micromobility is a reality and it’s becoming more of one. The need is being established by billions of human beings moving into ever-denser cities. That’s the underlying fact,” he added.
In the U.S., transportation enthusiasts and climate change experts mostly champion the technology. Ari Matusiak, CEO of Rewiring America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit promoting electrification of the energy and transportation sectors, sees e-bikes and similar technology as crucial to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and slowing climate change.
The country’s transportation sector, still dominated by gas-powered cars, is the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. The transition to electric cars and trucks will help lower emissions, but those vehicles are still relatively expensive and come with significant consumer reservations about where and how to charge.