The Multi-Faceted Benefits of E-Bikes

Advocates say incentivizing e-bikes is a quick and effective way to reduce carbon emissions and shift U.S. transportation priorities away from car-oriented planning.

1 minute read

January 4, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Father riding cargo bike with one child in cargo basket and one child riding bike alongside on sunny tree-lined path

pikselstock / Cargo bike

In a piece for NPR, Adam Bearne highlights the benefits of electric bikes, which can bring biking to more people and reduce carbon emissions. Some riders tout the benefits of e-cargo bikes, which allow them to efficiently transport groceries or children and replace drives with more pleasant outdoor time.

According to Bearne, e-bikes can provide a convenient alternative to cars for short trips. “The Bureau of Transportation Statistics found that in 2021, 52% of all trips were three miles or less. That's the kind of distance that most people can manage on an e-bike.” For Denver, a recent e-bike rebate program has proven hugely successful, with participants reporting that they replace an average of 21.6 miles of driving per week with bike trips.

Advocates are calling on the federal government to offer e-bike rebate programs as a tool for reducing carbon emissions. A proposed e-bike program was dropped from the Inflation Reduction Act last year after pressure from opponents. Noa Banayan of PeopleForBikes says “if we're giving people an incentive to choose cars, electric vehicles, and not necessarily an electric bicycle, then we're sort of locking our transportation system into the way that it has been, which is really car-dominated.”

Monday, January 2, 2023 in NPR

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