Urban mobility is reaching a critical turning point. The condensation of services and working opportunities into cities has caused a considerable increase in population density i.e. more people are living and getting by on their daily tasks in smaller areas. This poses considerable challenges to the infrastructure and how transportation is conducted.
Luckily, the answer might be found in an invention which has a history reaching back over 200 years. Read further to learn more!
The Ever-changing Urban Environment
The modern direction of development has led to cities and urban environments that are more densely populated and constructed than ever before. Space is at a premium, as are convenient ways of moving from point A to B. This isn’t the first city-related challenge we’re facing and certainly not the last. It is intriguing though, to think how the nature of the challenges changes over time. For example, the great horse manure crisis of 1894 seems like a very far-fetched problem, but the solution that arrived in the form of a combustion engine and the automobile was hard to see beforehand.
The days of getting by with horse carriages and using hay as the fuel of propulsion are long-gone. Nowadays, the challenges can be pinpointed into three main categories:
- Heavy traffic and long travel times
- Lack of space
Luckily, a bicycle that is equipped with electric assistance provides a solution to the problem or at least is a considerable part of it.
Solving the Traffic Dilemma
When population density reaches a certain limit, it is not feasible that everyone travels by their own car in a timely manner. Bottle-necks are bound to be formed in the intersections, crossroads and even 4-lane wide highways when the stream of cars is big enough.
Public transportation like subways, buses and, tram cars are one solution to the problem with their huge transportation capacity. The simple bicycle got overlooked for a long time, but fortunately, urban planning is finally catching up. Bicycles, and especially e-bikes, provide a versatile, easy to use, fast-moving and environment-friendly mode of transportation that isn’t dependent on any schedule besides the one that the rider has.
The network of bike lanes and bike-friendly roads is growing steadily to the level that e-bikes can be the fastest way of transportation inside the city centers. The most progressive cities in this front are Copenhagen, Colorado Springs and the whole country of Netherlands. Not only might the e-bike be the fastest, but it’s a very convenient mode of transportation that is immune to traffic jams.
Keeping the Green Values in Mind
Emissions and the pollution caused by it are a big topic at the moment since we’re living in the crucial moments of climate change. Every action to reduce emissions and pollution is warranted to keep Earth a good place to live for future generations.
To put some numbers on the table, research conducted by the Municipality of Copenhagen concluded that cyclists can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20,000 tons a year! E-bikes have a bigger carbon footprint than the traditional bicycle, but the difference is almost trivial. Charging a standard size 600Wh battery costs around 0.093€ which means that only a trivial amount of electricity is consumed in the grand scheme of things.
If the electric assistance tips the choice in the favor of an e-bike instead of hopping into a car, the situation is clear which option is more environment-friendly.
No More Searching for a Parking Spot
How many times have you searched for parking space for a considerable amount of time? How many times you’ve been busy or already running late for an important appointment? Everyone can empathize with situations like these. With an e-bike, finding a parking spot is a trivial task! One parking spot can fit up to 10 e-bikes, which increases the parking capacity by several magnitudes.
In short, bicycles fit into a small space. It is not an uncommon thing that the most forward-thinking companies offer storage space for bicycles to encourage the employees to choose the bike over a car when tackling the daily commute.
After some simple calculation, it might turn out that e-bike is a considerably faster way to commute even on long distances when the time needed for parking is added to the equation. For example, if a car ride takes 10-15 minutes, but the search for a parking spot plus the walk to the destination takes the same amount or even more time, a bike commute up to 45-minutes is justified for being just as fast.
That’s Not All Folks
The fortes of e-bikes do not end here. We haven’t even touch topics like cargo bikes, the potential of shared economies and rental bike fleets, which are topics for later discussions.
E-bikes are an important ingredient in solving the challenges that the modern urban environment poses at us. To summarize, e-bikes bring the following benefits:
- Daily commute is a fun event instead of a stress-laden chore!
- Parking is a trivial task!
- Environment-friendly mode of transportation.
- Suitable for all fitness levels and ages.
- No sweat since electric assistance flattens the uphills.
- Fast(est) way of transportation inside city centers.
Will the current times be remembered as the traffic jam crisis of 2020? And will e-bikes come to rescue us? Only time will tell, but we are doing our best to make e-bikes a more viable option than ever before.