Why E-Bikes Rule

E-bikes have experienced a surge in popularity; should we consider using them over conventional modes of transportation?

Aden Meisel and Myles Hazen

Introducing one of the world’s newest transportation trends: e-bikes. According to the World Economic Forum, e-bike sales have surged by an astonishing 145% since 2020. 

Any avid cyclist would agree that both speed and leisure don’t come naturally when biking even in the best of conditions. Better yet, e-bikes provide this without contributing to the rising levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. 

Because of their seemingly endless list of benefits, e-bikes have established a presence from the bustling streets of New York City all the way to the parking lot of Laguna Blanca, as some students now rely on e-bikes to get them to and from school. 

In terms of addressing the typical morning rush on the streets, e-bikes hold a massive advantage. Fresh man Sam Narva says that “Though the traffic has definitely gotten worse, the great thing about having an electric bike is being able to avoid [traffic] by passing everyone.” 

Since e-bikes take up less space than cars, e-bikes tend to reduce traffic. Better yet, e-bikes can pass right through traffic at high speeds without having to slow down. 

Additionally, e-bikes have a far more convenient charging process. “Unlike cars having to get gas constantly, with an e-bike you just plug it in at night,” sophomore Andreas McClintock said.

Factors like these make the e-bike a convenient and easy-to-use product. Still, one of the deeper reasons why the e-bike has surged in popularity is because it releases zero emissions into the atmosphere. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 29% of all United States CO2 emissions come from cars.

Because cars are far heavier than bikes and require much more energy to move, they combust billions of gallons of gasoline annually which contributes to our current climate crisis. 

“e-bikes are very similar to electric cars,” Andreas said. “Except they use a lot less power because they are lighter. So not only do electric bikes have the same environmental benefits, but they’re cheaper as well.” 

In fact, even electric cars are worse for the environment than e-bikes as the electricity grid isn’t always green. 

For example, according to the Santa Barbara Independent, in 2019 58% of Santa Barbara’s power came from finite sources such as the burning of fossil fuels. Though much progress is being made in this area, electric cars still aren’t the climate solution they are being marketed as. 

Luckily, e-bikes serve as a completely valid replacement. With their recent boom, e-bikes are set to change the way people commute in the near future. 

“I know in other countries like the Netherlands, bikes are already very popular,” Andreas said. “With the number of people who own e-bikes within the U.S. right now, having an impact on the rest of the world is more than likely.” 

However, many people believe that riding with an electric motor is ‘lazy.’ “I think that those who are not willing to spend money on an electric bike are the lazy ones. There are simply too many great advantages to refuse,” said Sam.