Whether you need a ride to work or to carry your groceries, electric bikes are a quiet and efficient mode of transportation. Also known as e-bikes, these lightweight vehicles have a small motor and run on a combo of pedaling and battery power. Here are five reasons why electric bikes are great.
1. They're Easy on the Environment
Though they aren't quite as carbon-neutral as a regular old pedal bike, the electric bike is definitely not an SUV. Rather than using gas like a scooter or motorcycle, the electric bike's small motor runs off a battery. When not in use, the e-bike's battery is simply charged from the electricity in your home, much like a giant cell phone that sits in your garage. No gas, no pollution.
2. You'll Save on Gasoline
The word is out: gasoline is bad. Oil reserves are running out, cars are polluting the air, and carbon emissions are turning the planet into a toaster. We've been rather oil-hungry during the industrial age, and gasoline prices have sky-rocketed as a result. With a combination of electric and pedal power, the versatile e-bike is a great way to save your wallet a few bucks at the pump. Go electric, the Earth will thank you for it.
3. No Insurance Fees
Reckless driving and road rage are a danger to us all. We need insurance companies and regulatory agencies to keep ourselves and our roads safe, but all that comes at a cost. Car insurance companies charge a premium for the right to put your vehicle on the road, especially if you're young or a new driver. While you won't likely be making any cross-country road trips on an e-bike, using an electric bicycle is definitely a cost-cutting alternative to owning a car. If you live in a dense urban area, reside close to school or work, or rarely leave your parents' basement, an electric bike is a cheap transportation option to consider.
4. They're Cheap to Buy
Compared to buying a motorcycle or scooter, investing in an electric bike involves a much less aggressive start-up cost. They aren't as heavy duty, but with the option to use the motor or pedal, e-bikes give you a more versatile ride. A standard electric bicycle can be purchased online and shipped to your front door.
5. They're Even Cheaper to DIY
Are you the handy type? Consider building an electric bike yourself. If you're imagining yourself sweating away in a workshop for days, soldering and wiring the whole thing from scratch, relax. DIY conversion of regular bicycles to electric is standard practice, and handy electric bike kits can be purchased online to help you do it. All you need is an existing bicycle, and the kit gives you everything else you need: motor, battery, controller and throttle.