The Government is asking us to use alternative methods of transport to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce car emissions and our reliance on cars, reduce use of public transport during the pandemic (although buses, trains, tubes and coaches are a very sustainable and efficient way of getting from A to B normally). We’re also being advised to increase the amount of exercise we do.
So is an electric bike the answer?
Here are a few points which may help you make up your mind:
· You still need to pedal on an electric bike. The motor works when you pedal. (There are fully automatic models of bikes, but they are fairly rare and you cannot ride them on the streets without a license because they are like mopeds).
· An electric bike is easier than a regular bike to ride as the motor helps you pedal, especially up hills. They require less effort and you sweat less – which is a plus if you are commuting and don’t have a shower at work.
· Electric bikes are great for the physically less strong or able.
· Depending on the battery it can take around 3-4 hours to fully recharge.
· You have to remember to charge it before each ride because the battery may run out of power on the way. There are currently very few charging stations for electric bikes.
· An electric bike can take you between 30 and 100 km on one battery charge, depending on its capacity. Worth testing out as rider’s weight, road surface, terrain, weather conditions can influence capacity too.
· There are many types of electric bikes on the market. There are city bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, and many others.
· Electric bikes are larger and heavier than a normal bike. They can weigh up to 20 kg or more, while a regular bike weighs around 10 kg.
· Electric bike prices vary considerably. They are more expensive than regular bikes and range from just over £1000 for a basic model to £5,000+.
· Due to the cost of electric bikes, theft can be an issue. It’s therefore advisable to store them securely inside if possible.