It might be a common misconception that e-cars are on a par with e-bikes in terms of environmental aspects, but it is clear that e-bikes are the greener option. Electric car sales have massively increased over the past couple of years, according to Next Greencar, there were more than 245,000 purely electric cars on the road in the UK at the end of April 2021. E-bike sales are also on the rise, with around 55,000 e-bikes being sold each year in the UK, but which are greener?
Firstly, e-bikes tackle congestion, and secondly, they are far more carbon-efficient than cars, and even e-cars. An e-car doesn’t differ in size compared to a petrol or diesel car, and so takes up the same amount of space in traffic. If you had bikes tightly packed at traffic lights, you could easily fit up to four bikes in the same space as a car.
According to RAC, there are over 31 million cars on our roads in the UK, with only 200,000 of them being electric. Most of the cars you would overtake on an e-bike in traffic would be petrol or diesel. Using the figure that 42,000 e-bikes are being used for commuting purposes and based on the fact that each e-bike takes out three car spaces in traffic, in total, e-bikes would take out 126,000 car spaces in UK traffic. On top of the existing number of bikes, you would see congestion-related pollution decrease and rush hour traffic in some cities develop into an efficient flow.
Fraction of the Energy
An e-bike consumes a fraction of the energy of an e-car, there is no uncertainty about that; e-bikes consume 1/440th of the energy of an e-car. To put it into a practical situation, a 2018 Nissan Leaf, a 100% electric family car, has a 110kw motor, and electrical bikes in Europe are legally only allowed to have a 250w motor. The Nissan Leaf’s motor is 440 times more powerful than an e-bike’s.
It is clear that e-bikes are greener than e-cars, they take up a lot less space in traffic and on the road and they consume a minute fraction of the energy, all the way from manufacturing to the daily commute. E-bikes are proven to be more efficient during commuting to work than e-cars and are overall, a better transport mode.
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