In most of today’s cities, the dense city centers are being forced to spread out due to the ever increasing demand for more housing, and development of more commercial spaces. Free time is becoming more and more of a rare commodity. Our daily hustle and bustle often requires us to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Cars and busses are often our first choice when it comes to commuting however, these popular forms of transportation only add to the ever increasing pollution problem, gridlock traffic and frustrating and costly parking hunt many of us are forced to live with on a daily basis.
By now most of us acknowledge that in today’s society, we all must encourage re-cycling to offset the negative environmental impact caused by urban living and to sustain our future generations. We commonly associate re-cycling with placing paper, plastic, glass and some metals such as tin and aluminum in the blue recycling bin however, we often overlook the positive environmental potential of our bicycles that often lay dormant in our garages while we drive our large vehicles to the corner store to buy milk and bread.
Unfortunately, today we’ve grown to be very dependent on our cars for even the shortest commute which is often less than 5 miles. Conventional bicycles are an ideal alternative for short trips but few Americans commute regularly by bicycle. Statistics show that while 73% of adult cyclists ride for recreation, only 10% used a bicycle for their regular commute. The common misconception that commuting by bike will take too long or will require too much effort.
Other parts of the world such as Asia, has a long legacy of bicycle use due to relatively low incomes, dense urban development, and short trip distances. But because of tremendous recent economic growth resulting in increased motorization and spatial expansion of cities, trips made by bicycle are becoming longer and more difficult. Fortunately, the challenges of cycling longer commuting distances, tighter schedules, and an aging population are being offset by the growing popularity of eBike.
Today, eBike have the potential to deliver enormous environmental benefits. They produce 100 times fewer emissions per mile than the average car. In fact, if those of us living less than 5 miles from work commuted by eBike instead of a car, it would save 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide each year with financial savings in the billions of dollars.
With all the positive environmental benefits offered by eBike, there is still one major negative trend which is quickly growing each year. eBike manufacturers are more often than not selling eBike which aim to replace your existing traditional bike. This trend can have very negative implications by encouraging perfectly good bikes to end up in the trash. Fortunately, as the eBike technology matures, we are seeing more and more environmentally friendly retrofit solutions becoming available. Cyclists who wish to convert regular bikes into eBike and keep their existing bike out of the landfills now have a choice. Ebike retrofit solutions are becoming more and more sophisticated, affordable, and reliable. The added advantage some of these newer solutions is that they are easily installed on most any bike which in many cases are better quality and lighter in weight than the complete eBike on the market. These retrofit solutions are also more economical, costing substantially less than eBike commonly being sold for well over $2500.
With over 100 million bikes sold each year, the environmental impact of repurposing older largely unused bikes and converting them to eBike makes great sense from a re-cycling standpoint. We now have a cost-effective alternative to cars that can take us further than ever before, save us money, and make us healthier! If we can keep perfectly usable bicycles out of landfills, we can further multiply the positive environmental benefits we all can produce and benefit from for years to come.