Electric Bicycles and Urban Mobility
Across major cities in the world, we are witnessing a transport revolution. More and more people are choosing two-wheeled vehicles to commute. It is estimated that two-thirds of the working population in the world use this type of transport to go to work. Even in the United States, where driving is almost the norm, this trend is catching momentum.
For decades, large urban areas have been becoming slowly congested with cars and similar vehicles. Now, it is the urban centers themselves that are driving the said transport revolution by creating better conditions for the use of two-wheeled vehicles. Construction of bike lanes and improvement of road safety are among the actions local governments are taking.
At the center of this transport revolution in urban centers is the city ebike. These two-wheeled vehicles are equipped with an electric motor, a battery, and an electronic control system. Because of their many benefits, electric bikes have established themselves as an effective urban mobility alternative. The electric bike can transform completely the way urban residents get around.
Why Are Electric Bikes So Promising as Urban Commute Vehicles?
Major urban centers around the world have reached a critical point. The population density is already too high in most cities, and the road infrastructure cannot accommodate the resulting traffic. An electric bike occupies much less space than a car on the road. It is not uncommon to see a single person commuting by driving a big car. Roads would get automatically less congested if single commuters used electric bikes instead.
Many city planners have already concluded that the use of electric bikes is the most viable solution to traffic congestion. It can also contribute to tackling other problems like air pollution. Also, the use of electric bikes promotes a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, creating the conditions to bike safely and easily in urban areas is critical for the mass adoption of these two-wheelers. In places like Western Europe and China, the popularity of electric bikes for urban commuting has exploded. The United States is quickly catching up.
But why choose an electric bike and not a conventional one? As mentioned, electric bicycles have advantages that other vehicles don’t. Some of them are:
- Electric bikes can be used practically by anyone regardless of age or physical condition.
- They allow riding faster for longer distances.
- They are environmentally friendly since they don’t generate harmful emissions.
Moreover, in comparison to cars, electric bicycles reduce costs significantly. No wonder in countries like the Netherlands, where the use of bicycles in urban and suburban centers is widely spread, e-bike sales are already surpassing the sales of traditional bikes.
Smart Cities Are Developing Infrastructure for E-Bike Riding
The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is at the forefront of cycling infrastructure development. For several decades, the local government has been working hard to provide safe and enjoyable bike lanes in the urban zone. Currently, 41% of all commuting trips to school or work in this city are made on an electric bike. Cycling is deeply ingrained in the local culture.
However, several American smart cities are also working toward adopting electric bikes as a mobility solution. That’s the case of Colorado Springs, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. It won’t be long before other large urban areas in different parts of the world follow suit. Simply put, electric bikes are the best alternative for urban mobility in the future.