Environmental Impact of Electric Bicycles

By Stephan Aarstol

Global warming is a serious problem that affects the environment worldwide. Because the burning of fossil fuels plays a significant role in causing this problem, it's necessary to reduce the use of fuels such as gas and coal. To do that requires an effort from both the governments of the world and their citizens. Average citizens may feel that their actions can only have a minimal effect, but this belief is false. When everyone helps out, the combined effort can be tremendous. In order to do their part, however, people must first understand what types of things they can routinely do. One option is to ride an electric bicycle, or e-bike, for transportation. E-bikes are bicycles with an electric motor. Riders propel themselves using the pedals, which can also be powered by the electric motor. E-bikes can have a maximum speed of around 28 miles per hour. The best way to get started using an electric bike is to learn all about how their use helps preserve the environment.

Environmental Impact of Electric Bicycles

Zero Emissions

E-bikes run differently than other types of powered transportation. Where cars, trucks, and motorcycles typically run on gas and diesel that release carbon emissions into the atmosphere, e-bikes do not. Instead, they are considered zero-emission vehicles and run on clean energy. As a result, their use prevents the release of roughly 500 pounds of carbon emissions.

Preventing Air Pollution

Pollution is a serious problem that plagues many cities. It causes respiratory and other problems that can be dangerous for some. Smog, which is a type of pollution, is one of the more visible reasons why people use e-bikes, particularly people who live in busy urban areas. As zero-emission vehicles, e-bikes do not contribute to the pollution in the air.

Long-Lasting Batteries

Reducing waste is one way to reduce one's carbon footprint. One benefit of owning and riding an e-bike is that it produces little waste. That does not, however, mean that it does not produce any waste. Like cars, e-bikes have a battery that must eventually be replaced. These batteries can potentially end up in landfills, but they are long-lasting and do not need to be replaced for many years. Additionally, they can and should be recycled. Most e-bike batteries, also unlike those in cars, are lithium ion and do not contain lead. This is good for the environment, as batteries that contain lead are dangerous to the environment.

Off-Peak Charging

Charging a battery means drawing power from the power grid. While this consumption is necessary, it does not have to be a strain. After a long day, one can charge their bike during off-peak hours. Off-peak hours are typically later in the day, when the demand for electricity is at its lowest. It is also a time when one is able to use the excess power that the electric company has generated. By using electricity during this time, an e-bike puts less of a strain on the power grid, preventing it from becoming overwhelmed by heavy use and lowering the risk of blackouts or brownouts. In addition to the environmental benefits of charging at this time, consumers will personally benefit from the lower rates associated with off-peak use.

Sustainable Energy

The use of solar and wind power is an alternative to standard electricity that reduces one's carbon footprint even more than off-peak electric use. It is a green power choice, as the sun and wind are both unlimited and renewable. The solar and wind industries are ever-growing in the U.S., and in the years to come, they will likely become increasingly accessible and affordable for those interested in a greener lifestyle.

Saving Roadways

Riding an electric bike has a positive impact on the environment in more ways than one. They are lighter and generally cause less damage to the roads than other, heavier forms of transportation. When cars and trucks damage the roadways, heavy machines are used to make the necessary repairs. These machines have high emissions that add to pollution and further damage the environment.

Eco-Friendly Travel

An e-bike is as much as six times more efficient than riding a train. In addition to being a greener transportation option, they also offer more freedom of movement without schedule restrictions and the ability to travel alone if desired. When a person travels by means of train or bus, they must deal with more crowded conditions and people who may be sick or unpleasant to deal with. In addition to reducing congestion on roadways, electric bicycles are also quieter.

A Green Way to Have Fun

Commuting isn't the only reason why people use electric bicycles. Caring for the environment doesn't end on weekends or days off. In addition to commuter electric bicycles, there are also off-road e-bikes that are designed for exploring terrains more rugged than city streets. They can be used to explore nature or ride on trails. Cargo e-bikes are another option that's ideal for people who enjoy shopping and need extra power to help with transporting goods.