Electric bikes haven’t always been a popular choice for transportation, especially in comparison to their human-powered counterparts. Between 2006 and 2012, e-bikes represented less than 1 percent of total annual bicycle sales in the United States. They’ve taken a long time to gain traction, but with advances in technology and the movement towards a more sustainable future, sales are increasing rapidly.
Even before COVID-19 disrupted our lifestyle, electric bike sales are only going up. In Germany, e-bike sales in 2018 were up by 36 percent, and more than half of all adult bikes sold in the Netherlands were electric. E-bike sales at specialty stores in the United States increased by 73 percent.
By 2023, Deloitte predicts the total number of e-bikes around the world should reach around 300 million — a 50% increase from 2019.
But what’s the attraction to this elusive EV? We’ve put together a list of perks you can expect from owning your very own electric bike.
1. Electric bikes make exercise accessible
Injuries and physical limitations are a part of life. Many people think due to these, it’s not possible for them to get on a bike again, and opt for their car instead.
Not so fast! Electric bikes provide an accessible alternative to a regular bike, allowing a decrease in physical exertion due to the pedal-assist nature of these bikes. The power boost can be adjusted based on each rider’s unique needs, increasing mobility and wellness (and fun!).
2. They’re good for your mental health
Speaking of wellness, e-bikes can do wonders for one’s mental health. It’s much easier to practice mindfulness when you aren’t panting with your legs burning. Taking in the scenery on a beautiful sunny day while cruising along on an e-bike is a great way to decompress from the stress of those constant incoming email pings.
A study has shown that in older adults, cognitive abilities and mental wellbeing gained from riding an e-bike surpasses that of traditional bikes. Many factors contribute to this such as greater riding confidence, ease of use, time outdoors, time spent with friends and family, and exercise.
3. Electric bikes help reduce fossil fuel consumption
It’s not difficult to deduce that electric bikes are a greener alternative to gas-powered vehicles. A study based on mobility, population, and weather data in Switzerland hypothesized a 10% decrease in greenhouse gases upon widespread adoption of electric bicycles, and up to 17.5% reduction with the inclusion of electric cars and trucks. With more initiatives taking place to reduce humans’ carbon footprint on planet Earth, opting for an e-bike instead of a car is a great way to contribute — and have fun doing it. As Vancouver’s leading premium electric bike manufacturer, OHM actively supports Vancouver’s Renewable City Action Plan and its Priorities for Greener Transportation.
4. Physical distance with ease on your e-bike
With COVID-19 disrupting lifestyles globally, it’s understandable people are trying to grasp on to any remnants of societal normalcy. With gyms only beginning to reopen featuring extensive protocols in place, many are still not comfortable exercising in an enclosed space. Yet people cannot abstain from exercise! Enter: The bicycle.
In the United States in March, sales, equipment and repair services almost doubled, sending supply chains scrambling to keep up. An unbelievable surge in bicycle sales has caused a shortage in many shops. Electric bike sales alone rose 85 percent, likely in part due to the general avoidance of public transportation. Across the 106 cities in 11 countries served by the Transit app there was an average 76 percent drop in demand for public transit.
Many cities globally are transforming their infrastructure to be more bike-friendly with the implementation of ‘slow streets’ and bike lanes. It allows people to spend much needed time with their friends in the great outdoors and at a safe distance.
5. Fly by gridlock traffic on your e-bike
Have you ever been sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, ever so slowly inching toward your destination, when you see bicycles cruise past the never-ending lines of cars without a care in the world? Us too.
Rush hour traffic becomes a thing of the past when you opt to commute with an electric bike instead of a car! Start your day at work the right way by arriving at your desk with a smile. No more time, gas, and sanity wasted — you’ll even start looking forward to your commute.
6. It’s cost-efficient to own one
It may not be cheap to buy an e-bike with quality components outright, but it ends up paying for itself many times over. If you’re used to shelling out lots of money on monthly transit passes, car insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance, you can look forward to seeing a lower monthly bank statement for the foreseeable future. Who doesn’t like saving money?
While it might be expensive upfront, we’d strongly recommend investing in an electric bike from a reputable company with quality components, as cutting corners will end up costing you more in the long term with replacement parts and maintenance. Here at OHM, we’ve built up a reputation in the e-bike community over 15 years for being the best in class for our premium, high-performance e-bikes.
7. It’s also energy-efficient
We already mentioned the sustainable nature of electric bikes. But are they actually energy-efficient?
A study by Efficiency Vermont discovered that e-bikes were shown to displace meaningful amounts of driving miles with an average displacement of 760 driving miles annually. The same study found that they consume minimal energy relative to purchase price, and are much more efficient than electric or conventional cars.
In a TedX presentation, e-bike engineer Zach Krapfl explains how one can achieve nearly ten times the miles per gallon on an e-bike than an electric car. He provides some other great insights on the benefits of electric bikes with some mind-blowing statistics to back up his claims. Did you know 55% of car trips are under 10 miles, and if e-bikes were used for just 1% of those trips there would be a reduction of 17 billion miles driven in the US and 2.2 million Americans would lose between 25 and 50 pounds?
8. Charge up hills with ease on your e-bike
If you live in an area with lots of hills, it can be daunting to haul out your bicycle and go for a leisurely ride, knowing you’ll be huffing and puffing throughout and arrive at your destination drenched in sweat. Maybe not a big deal if you’re just stopping at the grocery store, but definitely not ideal if you’re running late to your meeting with a client.
Wherever your destination, arrive looking the same as when you left with the addition of a big smile when you choose an e-bike as your mode of transportation. Laugh in the face of hills by activating the pedal-assist motor to your choice of eco, normal, or high to effortlessly make it to the top. Second only to commuting, one survey reported one of the top reasons for deciding to purchase an e-bike was to make getting up hills easier.
9. E-bikes keep you fit
While e-bikes do give you a boost on those hard-to-conquer hills, not all cardio is lost in the motor. OHM e-bikes are a pedal-assist bike, or pedelec, meaning the rider still needs to pedal to activate the motor. Once thought of as ‘cheating’, e-bikes are surging in popularity due to their low barrier of entry. Many who wouldn’t think of hopping on a conventional bike due to physical limitations are zooming around on an e-bike, happily getting their daily dose of exercise. One study found that regular e-cycling does indeed provide riders with an effective workout while improving their cardiovascular health, especially for those that lived a mainly sedentary lifestyle. Another study suggested e-bike riders are physically active for 95% of the time, and 8.5 times more active than when static. With conventional cyclists 10.9 times more active than when static, the margin of activity between e-cyclists and pedal-powered cyclists is smaller than previously estimated.
10. They help you make and sustain connections
Although the average spectator may be unable to tell your OHM e-bike is electric with the built-in battery and quiet motor, other e-cyclists you’re bound to run into won’t be able to resist striking up a conversation regarding your sleek model!
Looking for a cheap date idea? E-cycling is a great option! Even if your date doesn’t own an electric bike, you can still go for a bike ride together just the same — only one of you will be less sweaty upon your return.
E-bike touring is also increasing in popularity. Enjoy the leisurely ride while exploring a new city and chatting with the tour guide or your travelling companions. Upon a quick Google search, one website offers nearly 200 tours in more than 25 countries across Europe.
11. They’re super fun!
Arguably the most obvious benefit of an electric bike — the sheer level of joy they bring to their riders! Just ask anyone who has ridden an e-bike: they seem like a cool idea in theory, but no amount of verbal convincing can prepare you for the actual experience of riding one. One OHM rider said their e-bike gives them “an amazing riding experience that will change the way you commute in life”. It’s impossible to not have a smile on your face when you’re zooming around town with your friends and enjoying the scenery while not even breaking a sweat. The possibilities are endless with an e-bike. Some people are concerned about the battery running low while they’re on the road. Have no fear — OHM e-bike batteries support a travel distance of up to 176km on a single charge! The battery also recharges when you’re going downhill, extending your range even further. Now that’s something to smile about!
12. Electric bikes are the future
Electric bike technology is only getting better as time goes on. First patented in 1895, the concept didn’t gain heavy traction until the integration of the ultralight lithium-ion battery and its decrease in price over time. The batteries are providing an increasingly longer range while taking a shorter time to fully charge. Motors are only getting quieter, more discreet, and requiring less maintenance.
Climate change awareness and the impact of human behaviour on our planet Earth is becoming increasingly widespread across the globe. Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 50% since 1990, having an extreme effect on our planet’s ecosystems. The Paris Agreement, an initiative signed by 195 countries and the EU was created in 2015 to combat global climate change. Protests, advocacy, and further actions are being taken by individuals and organizations alike to fight for a greener future. Replacing your car with an electric bike can have a significant impact on your individual fossil fuel emissions.
Increased implementation of bike lanes and cycle tracks naturally draw more cyclists — 2.57 times more to be exact. The same study also found there was a 38 percent reduction in motor vehicle and cyclist collisions on streets with cycle tracks in the downtown core of Toronto. Due to COVID-19, these lanes and tracks are popping up all over the place at an increased rate. Why not ditch the car and take advantage of your very own lane?
As you can see, the increasingly widespread adoption of electric bikes is more than just a passing fad. Beyond simply getting you where you need to go faster, electric bikes help you save money in the long term, reduce your fossil fuel consumption, and make cycling attainable for those with physical limitations — all while putting a great big smile on your face. So what are you waiting for? Book a test ride today!