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Can e-bikes help the environment?

89.5 million tonnes of CO2 are produced by road travel per year, whereas e-bikes produce none. With data from the Department for Transport, a new infographic shows how thousands of kilograms of CO2 emissions can be saved by switching your daily commute from a car or public transport to an e-bike.

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is not a motorbike; it is essentially just a normal bike with an in-built electric motor. The motor in an e-bike gives you some extra assistance on long journeys or uphill stretches so you don’t get so tired. The best benefit of them all is how environmentally friendly e-bikes can be.

Looking at total greenhouse gas emissions produced by cars, trains and buses in comparison to e-bikes, the infographic shows that an e-bike will offset all the emissions created during its production after just 1000km ridden. In addition, an e-bike would be responsible for less than 300kg of CO2 when travelling around 40 miles every single day for one year.

Individual businesses produce staggering amounts of CO2 annually by continuing to use their traditional modes of transport such as cars and vans. However, by taking the opportunity to utilise an e-bike for certain journeys, businesses can really clamp down on their carbon footprint and over time, massively help the environment.

Michael Jones, owner of Drings butchers in Greenwich, swapped his van for an e-cargo bike to complete local deliveries over a four week period. The environmental impact of his van in comparison to his bike was monitored – noting a huge 99% reduction in his CO2 emissions.

After testing the e-cargo bike, Michael found that the bike was just as efficient at making shorter deliveries, recommending businesses make the switch from diesel to e-cargo bike as it makes ‘both business and environmental sense’.

According to the sustainability statement from the Accell Annual Report, if you travelled approximately 40 miles every day for a year – a total distance of fewer than 15,000 miles an e-bike would emit

  • A single-occupancy car would emit over 7,000kg of CO2
  • A moped, bus or three-person car-pool would emit approximately 2,500kg of CO2 per passenger
  • An e-bike would emit less than 300kg of CO2

As well as reducing carbon emissions, e-bikes are a fantastic way to benefit your individual health. Making those shorter trips using an e-bike instead of driving or using public transport will massively increase the number of calories burned during the day, reduce your carbon emissions and positively impact the planet.

E-bikes don't just reduce air pollution either; they also greatly reduce noise pollution, which creates a more pleasant and peaceful environment for people to get around – so now you know the facts, why not try one out and see how an electric bike can benefit you.

Still curious about e-bikes? You can view the full infographic here.