E-bikes are on the rise. You can see them in the city, in the countryside and on many cycle paths. More and more people are enjoying e-mobility on two wheels. And that has nothing to do with comfort. The electric bikes are practical in everyday life, sustainable for the environment and facilitate the movement for young and old.
Not all e-bikes are the same. Bicycles with electric drive are divided into two product categories: pedelecs and e-bikes. Pedelecs only support when you pedal. In contrast, e-bikes can also be ridden without pedal support. Generally, more pedelecs than e-bikes are sold on the market. The term stands for pedal electric cycle – that is, the bike moves only by the pedal assistance. E-bikes, on the other hand, can also be operated at the push of a button without having to use the pedals.
In contrast to pedelecs, e-bikes must be registered for speeds of 6 km/h and above. In principle, pedelecs are legally classified as bicycles – provided that they have limited pedal support. The motor's support switches itself off at a speed of 25 km/h. For these pedelecs there is no helmet obligation and one needs in this case also no driving or operating licence. So-called S-pedelecs, which can travel at speeds of up to 45 km/h, need a number plate and require a helmet.
Sales figures have risen
In the past few years, the demand for e-bikes has increased rapidly. The bikes with electric motors are very popular with the germans. Only last year, sales reached a record high. In 2018, around 980 e-bikes were sold in germany.000 e-bikes sold – 36 percent more than in the previous year. The two-wheeler industry association expects the market share of pedelecs to remain between 30 and 35 percent in the future, with an upward trend.
Alternative to the car
E-bikes offer a lot of comfort for people and the environment. Whether for a short shopping trip in the city, a relaxed tour in the countryside or longer trips over several days – e-bikes take the strain off their users. It does not matter how old or fit you are. E-bikes are a means of transport that can be seen as an alternative to the car to some extent. In the truest sense of the word, riding with the motor promises a relaxed drive.
What is interesting about the emergence of electric bikes is that the trend has passed from the best-agers to the younger generation. The e-bike is a silent, flexible, space-saving and healthy means of transport for all ages. Naturally, their use results in an environmentally friendly balance sheet. Especially for distances between five and 20 kilometers, it is worthwhile to use an electric bike. It extends the radius of action of the conventional bicycle. Daily shopping in the nearby supermarket no longer has to be done by car, because the e-bike makes it possible to transport heavy purchases in a relaxed way. For residents in busy cities with high levels of congestion, it is particularly worthwhile to use an e-bike.
The advantages at a glance
If you buy a pedelec, for example, you can cover long distances more easily – and arrive at work relaxed and completely free of stress. In addition, the e-bike also makes it easier to transport loads. For the passionate cyclist: pushing uphill is a thing of the past. The e-bike makes it easy to overcome obstacles and differences in altitude on a weekend bike ride. The issue of headwinds has more or less disappeared as well.
Impact on the environment
In times of the fine dust debate, congested roads and the CO2 problem, it is understandable that the bicycle is a good alternative to the car. In many cities it is faster to travel by bike than by car or public transport. Pedelecs can compete with cars in urban traffic. The range, maneuverability and flexibility are convincing – especially since you don't have to spend a lot of time looking for a parking space.
In terms of the environment, it can be said that switching from a car to an e-bike saves considerable emissions. Nevertheless, small amounts of emissions are produced compared to conventional bikes. Charging the battery naturally generates emissions. However, the amount of energy required by a pedelec to cover a distance of ten kilometers is roughly equivalent to the energy needed to boil 700 milliliters of water at room temperature. Another point is that the increased use of both e-bikes, public transport and e-scooters, for example, contributes to more flat capacity. This not only creates a flat gain, but also increases the quality of stay in cities. E-bikes take up the same amount of space as classic bicycles and enable short distances, fast mobility and low noise emissions.