Why Choose an E-Bike Over a Car?

There are many reasons to get an e-bike, here are just a few!

Did you know that the average American commuter spends approximately one hour in transit each workday? That over 200 hours a year—nearly nine full days—sitting in a car, bus, or train. And that number is steadily rising each year, particularly in large metropolitan areas. Our commutes represent an ever-increasing drain on our energy, productivity and—if big cities like LA, San Diego, Denver, and NYC implement their proposed congestion pricing plans —our wallets as well. It’s no wonder that many people are ditching traditional modes of transportation and embracing the e-Bike as a faster, cheaper, and healthier way to get around.

Economic Savings

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average vehicle costs $9,576 per year. That’s not just the cost of ownership but management as well. Let’s break that down:

  • $4,054 – Initial cost of the vehicle
  • $1,968 – Yearly gas and motor oil expenses
  • $3,554 – Yearly parking expenses, tolls, repairs, and other assorted costs

Now, let’s compare that to an e-bike, which you can purchase for a couple thousand dollars and ride for at least a few years. EVELO’s estimate for charging costs associated with owning an e-bike is approximately five to eight cents per day; barely a dollar or two over the course of a month. Overall, the data suggests that an e-bike can be owned and maintained at a fraction of the cost of a car. For price-conscious commuters living in high-traffic, metropolitan areas, this is yet another reason to pass on the car purchase in favor of a practical, affordable e-bike.

Speed and Flexibility

Cycling has always been a popular alternative to driving to work, and for obvious reasons: It’s environmentally friendly and it’s good for you. But for many, cycling to work is just not fast enough to be feasible. On the other hand, a car or bus could get you to work in less time, but one traffic jam might leave you stuck for hours (and late to your morning meetings). This is why e-bikes are the ultimate happy medium for commuters.

E-bikes can travel at speeds of 15–25 mph—significantly faster than the average person can cycle. Plus, the range of the average e-bike is between 30 to 130 miles on a single charge, and some models don’t require riders to pedal if the bike is adequately charged, meaning the average e-bike rider can travel 50% further than a conventional bike rider. Furthermore, e-bike riders can take advantage of the multi-purpose cycle lanes available in most cities, which provide a speedy, congestion-free route to the office each day.

E-bikes also offer more flexibility than cars in some key ways. Case in point: Parking. Most urban commuters can attest that finding parking is one of the biggest drawbacks to city driving. Thankfully, finding a place to park an e-bike is a whole lot faster, simpler, and less stressful. There’s no need to allocate extra time each morning to the dreaded “parking space hunt”—any bike rack will do. E-bike riders can also pocket the cash they’d normally spend on feeding the meter or paying for a parking pass, not to mention pricey parking tickets.

Health and Fitness

E-bikes are designed to give riders all the benefits of a bicycle, but with the added oomph of an electric motor—so you can spend less energy pedaling and enjoy a faster, easier ride. But that doesn’t mean that e-bikes don’t have health benefits. In fact, science has proven that e-biking can be physically intense enough to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, increase metabolism, and enrich psychological health. A recent medical study revealed that e-bikes “provide a better workout than walking,” and that regular e-biking “offers a physically active alternative to the largely sedentary behavior associated with motorized commuting.” Another recent study conducted in Norway supports these findings, suggesting that “changing the commuting mode from car to E-bike will significantly increase levels of physical activity while commuting.”

The National Library of Medicine reports that e-biking can unlock fitness benefits for all ages, including improvement of blood sugar levels.

The Verge highlights research from Brigham Young, suggesting e-biking can also “help overweight and older individuals.”

The takeaway from all this research is that an e-bike won’t just shorten your commute but also give you the opportunity to get a decent workout on the way—and that’s just not possible to do while driving. Moreover, by making round-trip e-bike rides part of your daily routine, you’ll be taking a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy exercise regimen.

Environmental Sustainability

E-bikes are a great way to mitigate your carbon footprint—which is especially important if you live in a city with high levels of air pollution such as Los Angeles or Bakersfield. The American Lung Association reports that “45.8% of the U.S. population lives in an area with unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.” This means that, on average, one in two Americans may be exposed to—and likely contributes towards—pollution. Electric cars are certainly a step in the right direction, but for those who can’t afford them (or don’t want to deal with traffic, tickets, and other automotive baggage we talked about earlier) an e-bike is a perfect compromise. Compared to cars or motorcycles, e-bikes emit significantly less pollution. In short, if you want to do your part in making your city a cleaner, healthier place to live, an e-bike can help make it happen.

A Smart Investment

Buying an e-bike can be seen as both a short-term and long-term investment. In the short term, you can ride fast and farther, shave time off your commute, park virtually anywhere, and avoid sitting in traffic all day. In the long run, you can save money, boost your health, and even improve the air you breathe. In addition to e-bikes, the same benefits also apply to e-mopeds and e-scooters. If you’re ready to reap those rewards, we’re ready to help you find the right ride for you at Ridepanda—the only one-stop, curated shop for high-quality e-rides.