Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ebikes Sustainable Transport

You may have read many of my previous posts regarding the advantages of ebikes (electric bicycles) over cars, motorcycle (running on pretrol) to some extent.

But it may be interesting for you to know that an electric bicycle might be an even more sustainable option than a convention bicycle.

The folks at "A To B"( ), the folding bicycle present the reasons so well, I would just like to quote them.

There's a lot of nonsense talked about sustainability in transport, but an electric bicycle can be made genuinely sustainable. Purchase electricity from a 'green' supplier, or generate your own with a roof-mounted windmill or solar panel array, and the vehicles' fossil fuel consumption will be zero. Surely a conventional bike does that already? Only if you grow the food you consume whilst riding it. Unfortunately, most modern food production and distribution is so fuel-intensive that the consumption of a typical cyclist is not terribly good.
The bottom line is that to power a conventional bicycle (ebikes can be pedal powered too), a conventional bike requires the consumption of energy through the food we eat. And if the person is not growing thier own food, then it requires imputs of energy from other sources.

Where as, you can buy your electricity from green sources or generate it yourself, through a small wind turbine or through solar panels. And thus, it it would require virtually zero petrol to operate.

Other areas which the Atob folks think ebikes are superior to conventional bikes, include, they are Safer, Hill Climbing, Running Costs, Personal Fitness, No Sweat, Clean and Green, Faster, Higher Resale Value.

And for a final note, on the legal side, registration, licenses, insurance, etc, ebikes are viewed the same by the legal system. There are some minor differences, such as, at the moment, wearing a helmet appears to be required when riding an ebike, and a person under 16 years of age is not allowed to ride an ebike.

On those two last points, I am hoping the California law makers may amend those particular rules to be in line with most of the other countries around the world that do not have special helmet requirements which are different from conventional bicycles. And on the last issue, perhaps some kind of accomodations can be made for people under 16 years of age.

One suggestion I have is that they could get a permit to ride them if they pass a special safety cours, either provided through their school or another local agency.

The folks in Santa Cruz are offering free ebike safety education courses to the community(LINK). Safety education for ebike use may be beneficial to anyone riding and ebike.

"A to B" are a great resource for folding bicycle information. They put out a magazine, organixe special folding bicycle rides and tours, among other things. They're based in the UK.

Recommended Links:
- Santa Cruz Electric Bicycle Program
- Ecology Action

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