The American eBike Blog: How eco friendly are electric bikes?

May 18, 2017 4:13 pm Published by

Electric bicycles are creating a buzz, especially in the USA, where they are relatively new. The most important message that these electric vehicles bring to the table is their “greenness.” Not newness but their ability to help us get around the planet without creating carbon emissions. Any vehicle, new or old, that can get people out of their cars is worth a thorough look. So here is what you need to know about electric bicycles and the environment.

Take a look at the below facts. While at this point in the world’s level of environmental awareness, many of these startling facts shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The facts that might intrigue you, however, pertain specifically to electric bicycles. Did you know that electric bicycles are actually more eco-friendly than a conventional bicycle? That’s right, even if you are a Vegan, your body will not burn as clean as the energy of your electric bicycle. Of course, the source of your electricity will always be in question. Some will point out the argument that electricity can be created through burning fossil fuels, which are not eco at all. You can create electricity from many sources, so when making an environmental argument for electric vehicles, the source of the electricity is important as well. If you are harvesting electricity from solar panels, wind turbines or other eco means, you are making the most positive impact, leaving the smallest footprint and creating the least amount of emissions for your travel.

Below are some facts about the environment and electric bikes that may make you care a little more. If you really care about the planet and its future generations, than maybe we can count on more people joining the eBike revolution in the USA.

FACTS ABOUT EBIKES

  • An ebike produces less than 10% of the energy required to power a car.
  • Electric bikes are the #1 selling electric vehicle in the world
  • The Average ebike gets over 1000 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon Gas equivalent)
  • 10 miles on an ebike saves 500lb of carbon emissions from the air
  • Electric bikes are a zero emission vehicle
  • Prodecotech batteries get over 1000 life cycles
  • In the USA, electricity costs between .03 and .25 per kilowatt hour
  • The source of your electricity can come from anywhere: Wind, Solar, Hydro power.
  • Electric bicycles are 18 times more energy efficient than Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
  • An electric bike is thirteen times more energy efficient than a four door car
  • Electric bicycles are six times more efficient than rail transit
  • An electric bike has the same impact on the environment as a conventional bicycle
  •  Today, less than 15 percent of all students walk or bike to school.
  • The very first models of electric bicycles appeared in the late 1800s.

HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT:

  • Right now, there are over 370,000 delivery vehicles on the road in the U.S.
  • With less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes 33% of paper, 25% of oil, 15% of coal, 17% of aluminum, and 15% of copper. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
  • Today the average European uses 43 kilograms of resources daily, and the average American uses 88 kilograms. Worldwatch Institute, 2010. State of the World 2010.
  • The “hole” in the stratospheric ozone layer over the Antarctic – the layer that protects people from harmful ultraviolet radiation – is now the largest it has ever been and is not expected to recover until between 2060 and 2075. United Nations Environment Programme, 2007. Global Environment Outlook 4: Summary for Decision Makers.
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s energy comes from oil, coal, or gas. Worldwatch Institute, 2006. Vital Signs 2006-2007
  • Half the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
  • More than 2 million people globally die prematurely every year due to outdoor and indoor air pollution. United Nations Environment Programme, 2007. Global Environment Outlook 4: Summary for Decision Makers.
  • 71% of all U.S. petroleum use is from transportation.
  • Half of U.S. schoolchildren are dropped off at school in the family car. If 20% of those living within two miles of school were to bike or walk instead, it would save 4.3 million miles of driving per day. Over a year, that saved driving would prevent 356,000 tons of CO2 and 21,500 tons of other pollutants from being emitted. Pedroso, M., 2008 – Safe Routes to School: Steps to a Greener Future
  • 80% of the world’s forests are gone.
  • 2000 trees a minute are cut down in the Amazon alone.
  • The US has less than 4% of its forests left.
  • The US has 5% of the world’s population and 30% of the waste.
  • 200,000 people a day are moving to cities from environments that no longer support them.
  • 99% of all those things we buy are not in use after 6 months.
  • Pollution level are rising at an alarming rate

 

REFERENCES:

http://ecocycle.org/ecofacts
http://www.upworthy.com/the-eco-friendly-reason-your-next-delivery-may-arrive-via-electric-bike
https://electricbikereview.com/guides/environmental-cost-ebikes-vs-cars-motorcycles/
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/air-pollution-rising/en/
http://www.bicyclehistory.net/motorcycle-history/electric-bicycle/
https://bikeportland.org/2013/11/07/the-appeal-of-e-bikes-5-facts-from-a-new-study-96861
http://croftonbikedoctor.com/articles/bicycle-facts-health-environment-pg285.htm
http://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics/category/environmental-statistics
http://www.bikeroute.com/EnvironmentalFacts.php
https://sites.google.com/site/shelbyelectro/general-ebikes/sustainability
http://files.meetup.com/1468133/LCAwhitepaper.pdf

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This post was written by Jason Behfar

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