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Why use an e-Bike for Commuting?
There are many benefits to commuting by electric bike. If you work in a large town or city and your daily commute is not too far, e-bikes are a great way to get to work while get fitter and saving money in the process. Below I have outlined 3 reasons why you should be using an e-bike for your daily commute in 2019.
What are the top 3 Reasons to use an e-bike for commuting in 2019?
The cost of charging your battery will vary depending on your electricity supplier’s price per kw. There are other factors to consider like your battery’s capacity, and the frequency and time of day you charge.
As a rule of thumb you will be looking at between 25p – 50p to charge a typical battery over 4-6 hours. If you have an e-bike that uses a fast charger, then charging times will be reduced.
If you are commuting 15 miles a day and have a battery range of approximately 30 miles, then you would charge your battery every other day. Assuming it costs you 50p per charge, then you may spend £1.50 per week on your electricity bill. Multiply that by 52 and you would be looking at £78 per annum.
Compare that figure to the cost of public transport or even a car or motorcycle and you can see that e-bikes will save you a lot of money in the long term. Even offsetting the initial purchase cost of a decent e-bike of say £2000 (including helmet, gloves and waterproofs), that money could be recouped in the first year.
To put the above figures into perspective, the average car costs £162 per month to run (in the UK) that equates to £1944 per annum, and that is excluding any finance or loan repayments on the car.
The figures speak for themselves. A lot of us are leading more sedentary lifestyles and find it increasingly difficult to factor in some meaningful exercise into our daily lives.
Although you are getting some electric assistance with an e-bike, you still have to pedal. This action, even when performed with the minimal resistance of an electric bike is still an incredibly good low impact exercise.
If your job involves being sat down for long periods of time, this kind of exercise is excellent for your circulation, and while you will not burn as many calories than if you were using a conventional bicycle you will be burning the equivalent amount of calories as a brisk walk or a moderate session on an exercise bike.
The other great thing about e-bike commuting is that you will not turn up to work sweating buckets and need to change your clothes.
Not convinced about the health benefits of riding an e-bike? Read my full article on using an electric bike to get fit.
3. Beating the traffic
If you have to commute to work in a large town or city, the chances are, if you commute by car you will spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. Recent studies have shown that car commuters spend on average 24 hours every year stuck in traffic. That figure increases to 39 hours in bigger cities and 74 hours in London.
These figures are similar for commuters in the US and other parts of the world.
Life is too short and precious to spend all that time stuck in traffic inside a metal box!
E-bike vs public transport
Let’s face it, who really likes being crammed like cattle inside a train or bus on their daily commute. I have experienced it, and it is soul destroying.
I would much rather commute using an e-bike in all weather than using public transport.
There have been significant advances in weatherproof clothing in recent years, so you can still arrive at work dry and warm, even if it is cold and wet on your commute.
Is commuting by eBike dangerous?
It is true that today’s roads are becoming increasingly congested and are not always cycle friendly.
There will always be certain degree of risk cycling on busy roads, you should always use cycle lanes if they are available. Make sure you wear a hi-visibility vest or clothes and always wear a good quality helmet and gloves.
The good news is that more and more towns and cities in the UK and other parts of the world are investing in improving cycling-friendly infrastructure. Even my local city of Plymouth is fairly cycle friendly (although there is room for improvement!).
The Green Commute Initiative
Unlike the Cycle to work Scheme** that has a £1000 cap on bicycle purchase price, the Green Commute Initiative is a social enterprise focusing on getting more people out of cars and onto bikes.
Most good quality factory produced e-bikes cost over £1200, this puts them beyond the reach of the Cycle to Work Scheme. The GCI however are particularly focused on promoting e-bikes as a sustainable, clean and healthy form of transport.
**Update – in 2020 the Cycle to Work Scheme have now increased their price cap to include electric bikes.
The evidence is clear. We all need to start taking more care of ourselves and the environment that sustains us.
Electric transport is the only way forward. Our love affair with the internal combustion engine is slowly drawing to a close.
Electric cars and motorcycles are still very expensive and beyond the reach of most of us, but e-bikes are becoming more and more affordable.
In the four years running my electric bike conversion business, I converted nearly two hundred bikes, a large majority of which were for customers who wanted to use their bike for commuting.
For more information check out my best electric bikes for commuting in 2020 article.