“In a scientific energy flow comparison, a grid-charged battery driving an electric motor will provide mechanical energy about ten times more efficiently compared to a human eating a typical diet. For personal travel between 5 and 30 miles per day, the electric bicycle offers the lowest environmental and personal monetary cost, usually without increasing folding ebike urban travel time”
From Energy, Global Increased temperatures, and Electric Sports gear Energy Flow Analysis with an Increased exposure of Personal Transportation
That may sound obvious, but it’s the primary advantage. A good electric bike effectively flattens inclines, increasing your average speed and eliminating the ‘groan’ factor when a gradient makes view. Provided you supply a reasonable amount of effort, you can expect to climb inclines of 1 in 10 (10%) on an electric bike with ease, and clear a maximum gradient of 1 in 7 (14%), or much more. In hilly country, the effect is nothing short of incredible.
It sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? But the mathematics is compelling. Think of a steep and busy road, with cars climbing at 30mph. If you previously slogged in the hill at 6mph, but can tackle the same gradient at 12mph with an electric bike, you will see 33% fewer cars, and they’ll pass you at 18mph rather than 24mph. Or at least, we think that’s correct.
Regardless of figures, there’s no doubt that an electric bike helps to keep you out of danger. The same general principle applies to road junctions — the faster your acceleration, the sooner you can get out of trouble. And with no need to rush the inclines, you won’t be tempted to ride from top to bottom at breakneck speed… another useful safety feature.
Surely a normal bike will keep you fitter? That, of course, depends how much — if — you use it. Research (b) has found that 46% of conventional bikes are used only a couple of times a week, with a further 30% being used once a fortnight or even less. By comparison, an up to date survey of electric bicycle owners reveals that a third ride their bike at least one time a day and 81% use the bike at least one time a week (c).
The figures confirm our experience that an electric bike typically gets used at least two times as often as a conventional machine.
Because riding an electric bike is significantly more enjoyable in hilly country, into strong years, or when carrying heavy loads, users makes better use of them. The motor provides up to half the effort, but more regular use means more exercise for the biker.
Sweat may not be a serious issue when you’re out for a leisure ride, but it’s more important if you’re cycling to work. Although some employers are rather grudgingly providing showers and other facilities for cyclists, the great majority have no goal of doing so. An electric bike eliminates the problem at source. In warm weather, it’s possible to maintain a normal schedule by transferring a bit more load to the electric motor. In winter weather — or if you feel in need of exercise — just throttle back, or turn the motor off.
Clean & Green
Electric bikes obviously consume energy, where a conventional bikes does not (provided we ignore the environmental cost of growing and processing food — see below). However, the amount of energy used is very small compared to a moped, motorcycle or car. Besides fuel, the only consumables are the batteries, and these can normally be recycled when life-expired. As for energy use, electric bikes typically consume fuel at an average rate of 100 to one hundred and fifty watts of power, against 15, 000 or so for a car (admittedly travelling much faster). In terms of fuel consumption, an electric bike accomplishes about 800-2, 000mpg (290 — 700 litres/kilometre) (d). No other commercially available vehicle can match figures of this kind.
If it is hard to place these numbers in your own lifestyle, think of a 100 watt electric lamp burning for an evening — that’s enough energy to propel an electrically-assisted bike for 20 to 40 miles…
There are lots of nonsense talked about sustainability in transport, but an electric bicycle can be made genuinely sustainable. Purchase electricity from a ‘green’ supplier, or generate your own with a roof-mounted windmill or solar cell array (see Solar power facts), and the vehicles’ fossil fuel consumption will be zero. Surely a normal bike does that already? Only if you grow the food you consume whilst riding it. Unfortunately, most modern food production and distribution is so fuel-intensive that the consumption of a typical cyclist is not horribly good.
Theoretically a car can average a high speed, but in start doing speed often falls below 10mph in cities. The problem is congestion — bicycles travel this to some extent, but they’re still confined to the road network. An electric bike can maintain a higher average speed compared to a bicycle but take advantage of the same network of cycle facilities, giving access to routes that cars and bicycles cannot reach. The result is often a faster door-to-door journey time than any other mode. And by taking advantage of the uncongested cycle network, but eliminating inclines and headwinds, electric bikes are often the most consistent mode of travel.
High Resale Value
Electric bikes are new technology, and it’s early days yet, but the evidence points to a much better resale value compared to a conventional bike. True, a typical electric bike costs more to buy, at £400-£1, 000, but it seems you’ll get most of that back if you sell the appliance on.
Motorised, Without the Red Tape!
You know how it is… MOT due, log book missing, insurance costs rising year on year. Electric bikes are treated just like ordinary sports gear for legislative purposes, so there’s absolutely no registration or legislation to worry about. You are of course free to insure the appliance if you wish, but there’s no compulsion to do not take pleasure in it!
Malcolm Weaver has been associated with introducing and marketing new innovative products for many years. During this time they have imported products from all over the world and is now involved with a number of companies. One of these companies specialises in the kind of products that people suddenly find themselves wanting but are not quite sure where to go to get them from. The range of new innovative items on the main site grows regular and it is fast becoming the armchair shopping mal for the products you will need once or twice or another, without wasting your time and money on expensive research trips to the out of town super stores.