Campaigners have called on the government to subsidise e-bikes to encourage people to switch to eco-friendly transport methods. The Guardian reports that an academic study has found that a significant boost in the use of e-bikes could cut carbon emissions by millions of tonnes, as well as create up to £2bn in improved health outcomes.
Researchers at Westminster University found that e-bikes reduced road congestion, pollution, and encouraged people to stay fit and physically active at all stages of life. They also conducted a poll which suggested that 53% of people would be tempted to buy an e-bike if a subsidy of £250 per £1000 costs were offered.
Campaign group Bike is Best points out that the government subsidies electric vehicle purchases, and yet re-charging an e-bike uses just 2% of the power that re-charging an electric vehicle requires. Although they are increasing in popularity in the UK, e-bike use is still well below the levels recorded in mainland Europe.
Scott Purchas, of Bike is Best, said: “The future is electric but not in the way people might think. All of the focus for subsidies has been for electric cars, but this new report demonstrates the substantial benefits of electric bikes and how essential they are for rapidly decarbonising transport, improving our health and cleaning up the air at the same time.”
A lightweight electric bike is perfect for commuting, allowing the rider to achieve speeds of up to 15mph. They are easy to carry up steps, or take onto public transport. The researchers found that up to 25% of commuting journeys could be made by e-bike, if some improvements to access and infrastructure were made.
The study also put to rest fears that e-bikes are less good for fitness than ordinary bikes. Although they burn up fewer calories per mile, e-bikes encourage cyclists to take longer trips, and to tackle more hills that they would otherwise have avoided.
If you are looking for changes in your commuting and want to contribute in saving the planet, Revolutonworks has in offer Whippet - British light e-bike and Revos - electric bike conversion kit that allows you change your normal bike to an e-bike.