Many Use-Cases for Light Electric Vehicles
If you wake up each morning dreading a long commute, planning your parking strategy, or wondering how you’re going to pay for that next tank of gas, you’re not alone. Many people who depend on their cars to get around also share these concerns.
Luckily, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds are a viable and practical alternative that you—and anyone else with the automobile blues—can benefit from. Don’t think you’re the electric vehicle type? Let’s look at some of the typical personalities that pick e-rides, and why that choice tends to make their lives a whole lot easier.
In crowded cities, the daily commute can be a struggle. Electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds can help, as they provide a faster and more efficient way to get to work. For example, many electric bikes are built for easy transport; if you’re one of those people who takes multiple modes of transportation to get from home to the office, you can bring a foldable electric bike on a train or bus with ease. Plus, like other electric vehicles, e-bikes give you more flexibility than other modes of transportation simply because they can travel at high speeds in places where cars cannot.
If you’re still not sold on the idea of choosing an e-ride over a car, consider what you’re giving up by sitting in traffic day after day, year after year. In 2018, electric scooter rental company Lime surveyed drivers in San Diego and found that they “lost 56 hours and more than $780 dollars each sitting in traffic” in the average year. The truth is, driving a car means accepting additional economic costs that you wouldn’t have to worry about if you rode an e-bike, e-scooter, or e-moped.
It’s also important to remember that, if you work in a big city like New York or San Francisco, you’re probably not traveling a very long distance to reach your destination (the isle of Manhattan is only 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide, and San Francisco is only 7 miles by 7 miles!). For this reason, electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds are the optimal way to traverse the city. They’re affordable, portable, easy to park, and they can save you time that you might otherwise waste in traffic jams or waiting at long signals.
Lastly, there are important benefits for commuters switching to light electric vehicles in the COVID-19 era. With social distancing being a primary line of defense against the virus, many are hesitant to use public transportation. On the other hand, riding your own e-bike, scooter, or moped represents a safer and cleaner alternative to boarding a tightly packed bus or train.
Think about how many simple tasks require you to leave the house throughout the week—grocery runs, dry cleaning, picking up takeout, returning books to the library, trips to the farmer’s market. Many people hop in their cars for these quick trips, but do they really need to?
The Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that over half of all driving trips occur between locations less than 10 miles apart. In fact, the average one-way trip is barely six miles. Is this really worth the cost of gas? Is it worth finding and paying for parking? On the other hand, riding an electric bike, scooter, or moped in the bike lane will likely allow you to bypass street traffic and potentially get you to your destination faster than if you drove!
Many metropolitan areas are implementing multi-purpose cycle lanes for this very reason, paving the way for the rise of light electric vehicles.
There are also clear health benefits to riding an electric bike or electric scooter. Both allow you to keep your body upright and active—a workout that just isn’t possible to achieve while sitting in a car. But even if you aren’t concerned about burning calories, using an e-bike or scooter to carry out your daily errands can give you a chance to enjoy the fresh air and get some vitamin D—very important activities for those currently cooped up indoors for long periods of time.
With the rise of the gig economy and the increasing popularity of food delivery apps such as Doordash, UberEats, and Grubhub, delivery work has become a great option for people looking to earn some extra cash. According to Frontiers, “Digital ordering represents half of all food delivery visits, expanding beyond traditional dinner delivery to encompass breakfast and lunch delivery.” As is the case with commuting and running errands, most delivery trips occur within a ten-mile radius.
That’s why electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds are a better option for food delivery drivers than a clunky, costly car. The price of gas and vehicle maintenance can be significant for a delivery worker; compared to a typical automobile, the cost of powering and maintaining a light electric vehicle is negligible. Plus, most electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds can easily tote packages and food boxes—or can be outfitted with storage accessories to do so.
Overall, for gig economy workers who operate through food apps, or store/restaurant owners that offer delivery within a specified radius, it’s worth it to consider light electric vehicles as an efficient and flexible alternative to driving.
The Sharp-Dressed Professional
For those who work in more traditional office settings, where heels, skirts, and other business attire are required, riding to work may seem like it just wouldn’t work. This is where electric scooters offer a unique benefit.
As Wired explains, “E-scooters are easier to ride in restrictive clothing like heels and skirts.” In addition to providing a more comfortable trip to the office, electric vehicles can be a safer alternative for getting home than public transportation or walking alone—particularly at night.
The Budget Rider
A recent study by Populus dug into the surprising diversity of electric scooter fans, positing that “lower income urbanites who can’t afford cars appreciate the mobility of scooters.” It makes a lot of sense; the cost of admission for a bike, scooter, or moped is a one-time purchase plus a few cents per day in electricity costs.
On the other hand, according to Credit Karma, the average car costs almost $1,000 a month in payments and maintenance. This contrasts significantly with the cost of an electric scooter, moped, or bike, which can typically be financed for upwards of $100 a month. For low-income residents, or anyone who adheres to a strict budget, these electric vehicles are more accessible, affordable, and simpler to manage than traditional automobiles.
The Joy Rider
E-rides enable you to unlock your city – visit parks, friends, restaurants, or simply take a meandering ride to explore a new part of town. Select an electric moped with another seat to take a date to see the sunset. With an e-ride, all the destinations that seemed beyond walking or pedaling distance just got a lot closer without the hassle of busses, trains or cars.
A Ride for All Kinds
Ultimately, there is no such thing as an “electric bike person,” a “scooter person,” or a “moped person.” More and more people from all walks of life are choosing electric vehicles every day, and virtually anyone can reap their benefits. There’s even scientific research that recognizes their flexibility, efficiency, and lower costs as key factors in their wide-ranging popularity.