The Popularity of E-Bikes Is Not Slowing Down


Such a trend has the potential to transform urban transport. Slightly more than half of all car journeys in New York City are three miles or less in 2019. study by the analytics company INRIX. Many short car rides can be replaced by a hypothetically short, brisk e-bike ride. So what does it take to get there?

David Zipper, a visiting professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an expert on new mobility technology, said the booming appetite for electric driving is the product of three trends emerging at the same time.

The first is the rapid development of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries used to power electric cars “have gotten smaller, more efficient and cheaper,” said Zipper, allowing them to be used in scooters, mopeds and “for smaller applications such as bicycles.”

Second, he said, there has been a worldwide resurgence of interest in urban cycling over the past decade. And the third is what he calls “gate medicine”. bike sharing programsallows riders to try e-bikes without buying one.

“You put these together and it’s kind of natural growth,” said Mr. Zipper, who uses Washington’s. Capital Bike Sharing, or CaBi, regularly. “E-bikes take advantage of all this.”

Most e-bikes fall into three categories. With the help of the first pedal, the riders are given a motorized boost, as if an invisible hand is pushing them forward. Second, a throttle allows the driver to zoom up to 20 miles per hour without pedaling and is often used by delivery drivers and couriers. And the last one is a faster pedal assist that allows a top speed of 28 mph.

for New Yorkers City Bike, electric blue pedal-assist bikes make up 20 percent of the fleet, but carry 35 percent of all rides, according to internal data provided by its parent company Lyft. Considering that monthly Citi Bike trips have crossed three million four times this year, that’s a lot.


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