An e-bike is the perfect mode of transport for commuting to work
Sales of electric bikes - or better known as e-bikes - have been soaring in the past few years and show no sign of letting up.
Since emerging onto the market in the 2010s, they have dropped in price and have gained in popularity among all types of cyclists: club riders, city commuters, recreational cyclists and among those who just want a bit of assistance as they go from A to B.
For those cycling to work, they are a valuable purchase. The motor assistance allows you to arrive on time but a bit less sweaty than you would if you arrived on a non-motored bike.
As cities around the world try to remove cars from roads and get more people cycling, e-bikes will become even more of a feature in our daily lives.
In 2018 the global e-bike market was $21 billion. By 2025 that's predicted to grow to $39 billion. In 2019 Deloitte released its annual technology, media and communications predictions, one of which stated that 130 million e-bikes would be sold globally between 2020 and 2023. The report stated that e-bikes "will easily outpace other e-vehicles" by the end of 2020.
So why are e-bikes so perfect for helping people get from A to B?
Further, faster, easier
The merits of e-bikes has been the focus of numerous studies. All of them point to people’s enthusiasm for using e-bikes because they make the journey to work, to the shops, and to school easier. The perceived lack of effort required means people can travel further and they are also far more likely to do so.
When Citi Bike, New York's bike share scheme, first piloted its fleet of e-bikes, the average trip length increased by 10% when compared to their classic bikes. What’s more, participants said they were twice as likely to use an e-bike for a journey that required them to cross a bridge or go up hills.
An average commute by bike in the UK takes 44 minutes, according to research taken by the TUC trade union, a time that no doubt dissuades many. An e-bike, though, helps remove barriers to commuting such as distance and hills.
E-bikes might also have the ability to make people ride deeper into the year. Even the hardiest of bike commuters can find cycling into work during the colder months a challenge. Certainly for many newbies a dip in temperatures is all the excuse they need to put the bike back in the garage and head for the car, bus or train.
In New York City, Citi Bike ridership decreases by 60% from October through February. But interestingly, e-bike use during this period held firm. This indicates that the quicker journey time and the ease of use could be enough to make winter commuting realistic for a greater number of cyclists.