Many people flinch when they see the price of the electric bikes in our shop; they range from $1399 to $6999 with the majority around the $3k mark. If you’re approaching ebikes as just the latest iteration of standard bikes, then yes, the prices can seem daunting. The larger picture, however, is that ebikes are much more than that; they are a legitimate alternative transportation solution. Some have chosen an ebike over an automobile and are reaping the many rewards of that choice.
For folks in San Francisco the numbers play out like this. When you factor the costs of owning a car including gas, parking, tolls, insurance, etc. – the payback period for a $5k ebike is only 7-9 months. Granted, those numbers are different for us here in Ashland but the idea remains the same; an ebike is a solid investment that provides numerous returns. Of course, beyond the financial piece, there’s the health benefits – both physical and mental, as well as the environmental advantage.
Here’s a few fun facts for you: Commuting by electric bike delivers the equivalent of 570 mpg. Included in that number is the costs surrounding the food you eat as your own fuel and the energy needed to charge the bike. If you’re really vigilant and eat only food that has been locally grown (no transportation costs involved), the number climbs to 710 mpg. If you’re an energy-conscious hero and also generate your own electricity (solar, wind, etc.), then the number raises to an amazing 1340 mpg. Bravo!
In the U.S. cars are driven three trillion miles per year. 55% of all those trips are less than ten miles each. In Copenhagen 35-40% of the population commutes by bike year round, even in winter. There is so much opportunity for more bicycle commuting here at home, and ebikes make it more possible.
It is projected that in 2016 sales of ebikes throughout Asia will reach 32.8 million. In Western Europe, that number is 1.6 million. Here at home we expect to sell about 152k. C’mon America, we can do better than this! We can do better right here in Ashland. Let’s complete the bike lanes through the heart of downtown and be the bike-friendly town that we profess to be. Let’s be sure to include bike infrastructure in all future development. This is a classic example of a “build it and they will ride” situation. How often do we get the opportunity to take positive action toward a healthier environment that provides so much fun at the same time? Let’s roll forward together with the green revolution that all life on Earth craves.