How urban mobility is changed by electric bikes

At a time where both lifestyle diseases and extensive urban pollution are estimated to become even bigger threats in the future, it’s worth giving thought to all the upsides that come along riding an electric bike on a daily basis.

Traffic jams and extensive pollution. These are some of the challenges the world’s biggest cities are trying to solve to ensure good quality lives for its populations. This is only likely to increase over the next decades. In 2018, 4.2 billion people or 55 percent of the world’s population, lived in cities. By 2050 urban populations are expected to reach 6.5 billion.

This obviously puts increasing pressure on our way of handling resources in a responsible way. From securing clean energy, food and drinking water to how we manage transport, build infrastructure and facilitate living conditions. Consequently, in a way that leads us towards sustainable urban societies and communities.

In many places air-pollution has reached critical stages, causing bad health related to the quality of the air we breathe. Traffic in the bigger cities is often seen as long lines of commuting cars with only one person in the car being on their way to or from work. Our fossil-fuelled transportation system currently emits 24% of global CO2 emissions, out of which 72% comes from road vehicles.

To sum up, the numbers make it clear that we have to ensure future electric mobility (from renewable energy sources). This with a long-range of other regenerative urban solutions within the next decade.

New ways of thinking about mobility

As we have lately seen under the COVID19 pandemic, staying at home, walking or choosing transport options that don’t rely on combustion engines is obviously reducing emissions. In the future we can imagine that more office work and meetings will go digital due to new tech such as VR. Assumingly, this will make expensive and time-consuming transportation redundant for many occasions.

Where this is not the solution, affordable and convenient alternative transport choices must become an easier option. Cheap and reliable public transportation is one of the no-brainers. Car-sharing applications, automation and a more responsible approach to the necessity of car or airline travel could be others.

Research says that by embracing automation, electrification and ride-sharing transport emissions could be cut by 80%. Within this realm, we believe the ‘e-bike-movement’ is going to have a massive impact as one of the mobility alternatives replacing the car in inner-city traffic.

Time to leave the car behind

Think about it. For every passenger-kilometre driven by car, the average emission is more than 70 gram of CO2/km. Compared to less than 13,5 grams CO2/km riding an e-bike, and the less air-pollution as a direct effect, it’s obvious that there are great impacts made for every person choosing their e-bike instead of the car.

On average more than half of all car drives are less than 10 km. This is much shorter in urban settings. By the time you have hassled through inner-city traffic and found a parking spot, you have probably spent more time than riding the bike. Even if the regular bike doesn’t seem comfortable enough for the short ride, an e-bike could possibly offer you a solution that would.

Studies show that most people don’t take their bike if they have a longer distance than 5 kilometres. With an electric bike you can easily ride 5-15 km. Or even longer if you are up for it. Imagine sliding through the daily commute at 25/32 km an hour, depending on local legislation and urban bike infrastructure. That’s flexibility in our ears!

Ebikes – flexible urban mobility

Being from Copenhagen ourselves – in many ways regarded as the biking capital in the world – we can assure that a big part of the explanation to our ‘danish happiness’ has to do with our biking culture. Being outdoors, getting fresh air while exercising seems like one of the best ways to spend your time and money moving from A to B.

A study conducted from 2013-2016 among danish municipalities and hospitals tested if free access to e-bikes over a 3 month period could possibly create new, healthy and green habits of transport among employees and urban citizens. Almost 1700 people who used to go by car to work borrowed an e-bike. The results concluded that 50% of the test persons had changed their habits of transportation one year after the period. And that 34% rode their bike to work minimum 3 days a week hereafter. The test persons would easily ride longer distances than usual with the assistance of a motor. All of resulting in fewer sick days and with the employees experiencing better health in general.

Flexibility and convenience key

In our opinion the numbers speak for themselves: 28% of the test persons bought a new bike or electric bike after the test period ended, while 27% now frequently ride a bike that they already own. 

To sum up, riding an electric bike will provide you with a wide range of benefits. Simultaneously, while adding to the environment and urban surroundings in a very positive way. In a busy modern lifestyle, flexibility and convenience are key. No need to stress about that big up-hill midway on your way home. No need to worry about arriving at work soaked in sweat. Probably you can even skip that extra tour to the gym, thinking about the total kilometres you ride your bike throughout the week. At a time when lifestyle diseases are estimated to become the most common illness in the future, it’s worth giving thought to all the upsides that come along riding an ebike on a daily basis. 

Interested in trying it out? Reach out to hear more about STRØM e-bikes and the possibilities of testing one in your area.