Will an e-bike achive your goals

On the way to work.

I was walking out of work the other day with my e-bike and a co-worker asked me why I biked to work? "Save money, Being Green, Exercise?"  This makes me think of a number of articles I've read ebikes, both pro and con, none of them ask this question, will an ebike achieve the person's goals.  I think this is the best place to start.   

Save Money - Standard Bike - When it comes to total cost, it is hard to save money buying an ebike.  They have a big upfront cost.  Unless you can get rid of a car payment, bus pass, insurance payment, and/or parking payment, an ebike is not going to save you money.

Commute - Ebike - Ebikes are great for commuting.  I am not saying every driver can switch to an ebike, but I am saying if you could bike there, an ebike will be find.  My average car commute in traffic is 30 minutes and my average ebike commute is 40 minutes.  I would not be able to have that short of a commute time on a standard bike.  That would make it harder to choose the bike and the goal is to choose the bike over the car. 

Replace a car - Ebike - I do not have a lifestyle where I could replace my car with a bike.  We are already a one car family.  I think my wife would laugh me out of the room if suggested this.  If you are going from two cars to one car or if you have the lifestyle were you could go without a car, an Ebike is the way to go.  I would see the main ideas here would be speed and convenience. 

Exercise - Standard Bike -  While an ebike will get you more exercise than driving your car or riding the bus, it is limited.  You will see some development when to your cardio level, endurance,  and ability to bike but it will be slow.  You would develop better with a standard bike.

Recreation - Standard Bike - If you just want to have fun, get a standard bike.  You can get a cruiser, mountain bike, street bike, or a hybrid.  You get much more flexibility with a standard bike.  It will be easier to take the bike on a train or with a car.  You might as well save your money with a standard bike.  This is the case if you don't have a problem with an injury or disability.

Decrease your carbon footprint - EBike - There is a simple idea here, make it as easy as you can to choose your bike over your car.  Ebikes have a larger carbon footprint than a standard bike.  Creating the battery and charging the battery has some carbon footprint.  If the choice is between the bike and the car, make it as easy as you can to choose the bike.  I find the ebike does that.

Let me know if you think there are other goals someone might have. 

Further Reading

talking about cycling
cycling only hard you make it
buying the best commuter bike
how to choose a commuter bike
how to decide what electric bike is right for me
The easy guide to buying a commuter bike
Bike Lanes are not enough
Is a pricey electric cargo bike worth it
to save environment subsidize e bikes


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