Cycling is a popular commuting option in Canada especially here on the West Coast where there’s a lot of cycling pathways and lanes. In addition, with gas prices reaching new heights, electronic bicycles—also known as e-bikes—have made a major impression with all types of consumers. While they look like normal bicycles, they have an attached electric motor for propulsion. Most e-bikes have two types of power: the first kicks in when you start pedalling and the second is a thumb throttle which gives you an extra boost when needed.
The batteries are usually detachable from the bike frame, although some models have them built in, allowing you to recharge them with a regular outlet, which can take around three to five hours. You don’t need a licence to ride an e-bike or pass any kind of test, but you do need to wear a helmet which is standard with all cycling regulations.
So why would a commuter choose an e-bike over other modes of transportation such as car, bus, or motorcycle?
Let’s face it. Traffic in most major Canadian cities is horrible. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in rush hour traffic and if there’s an accident you can be at a standstill for hours. E-bikes can bypass all that traffic while still getting you to work or to home in a timely fashion.
A lot of people don’t ride to work because they arrive to work sweaty and messy-looking – not very professional. However, the combo of electric power and saves you some effort so you can burn some calories but prevent your ride from becoming a full workout you’re not dressed for, allowing you to attend meetings looking your best.
A Lighter Carbon Footprint
Obviously, since electric cycling doesn’t consume gas, e-bikes are very eco-friendly. When comparing e-bikes to cars in terms of carbon emissions it really is night and day: e-bikes emit only 8% of what a car emits in terms of a car per kilometre.
An American study found that if only 10% of New York City commuters biked to work just once a week instead of driving that they could cut back on 120 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year—equal to the amount of carbon dioxide released by 25,000 homes per year. If we all just put in a little more effort into cutting back omissions, we can help save the planet.
With gas getting more expensive, many commuters are looking to save money. In Canada riding an e-bike doesn’t require a special license, registration, or insurance. Therefore, investment and operating costs are next to nothing compared to a car. E-bike prices can range between $1,500 and $4,000 which is a little more expensive than a regular bicycle but not by much. Replacing your battery can cost you a few hundred dollars every 3 to 5 years depending on your usage, but again that’s nothing when you compare it to the cost of owning a car. When you stack up gas, parking, oil changes, and regular maintenance, you’re looking huge savings.
So, by now you’re asking, if the bike is doing most of the work, where’s the exercise? The great thing about an electric bike is that the rider controls how much effort he or she wants to put in. You can cycle until you’re tired out and then increase the assist; or you can put the assist on high and just coast for most of the journey.
Some people shy away from biking to work because it can seem daunting to travel far distances on a bike. With an electric bike, you can really ease into a solid workout by working your way up from minimal effort, and as you get into better shape, you don’t have to rely on the motor as much.
If you’re thinking about getting an e-bike, give us a call at EbikeBC where we have professionally trained technicians to answer all your questions. We have a variety of options for all types of riders. Whether you want to upgrade a current bike or get a completely new e-bike we can help so contact us today.