The Rise of the Electric Bike: the future of urban commuting?

As the world is going ever more green, the popularity of electric bicycles has increased across the world – especially in European countries. Advantages are a smart and practical way to commute and better health.

An electric bike, also known as e-bike, powerbike og booster bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor. There are several versions of the electric bike, ranging from e-bikes that only have a small motor to assist the rider’s pedal-power to more powerful e-bikes which tend closer to moped-style functionality. Still, all of them have the ability to be pedalled by the rider and therefore differentiate from an electric motorcycle.

An electric bike is not only an environmentally friendly alternative to both cars and motorcycles, it can also be a more practical choice your average bike. Imagine getting to work on your bike, without having a drop of sweat or needing a shower before your work day can officially start. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Off course, an electric bike should be a substitute for your car rather than your traditional bike. You can’t underestimate the great health benefits involved in taking your bike to work. Still, the e-bike will also provide added health bonuses.

Follow the local laws

Before you leave your bike to rest in your garage and buy yourself a new e-bike, you should probably learn what the local laws are. What classifies as a bike, and which bikes fall under the laws of mopeds or motorcycles?

Many countries have enacted electric bicycle laws to regulate the use of electric bicycles. Countries like the U.S. and Canada have federal regulations governing the safety requirements and standards of manufacture. The signatories of the European Union have agreed to a wider-ranging legislation, covering use and safety of their EPAC (electric pedal-assisted cycles.

Depending on the batteries, many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles. This means that they are not bound by laws regarding certification and operation, unlike more powerful two-wheelers which are often classified as electric motorcycles.

Which laws that applies depends on the country where the bicycles are produced and used.

Norway’s e-bike market in rapid growth

Electric bicycles are becoming rapidly more popular in Norway. A contributing factor is a subsidy scheme offered by the Oslo city council for residents that buy an e-bike. While Finland started giving thousands of people a free $600 a month in a social experiment, Norway has doubled this amount, offering a $1,200 credit to cover the cost of an electric cargo bike.

The grant come as a result of the worsening air pollution in the city centre and is designed to help people choose an electric bike to stow groceries, bags and other personal items – hoping that people will use the bike instead of the car for transportation and commuting. Given the typical cost of electric bikes, around $2,500 to $6,400, the credit will cover between 25% and 50% of the bike’s total cost.

Take it one step further

Are you environmentally aware and want to help reduce your share of carbon footprint? Today, there are several small adjustment you can easily do in your everyday life, from leaving your car at home and taking the bus, to making sure that you use your power and energy supplies at home efficiently.

Changing to a renewable energy source is also a good way be kind to both the environment and your wallet. Though the energy market traditionally has been monopolized by energy sources such as gas and coal, we do see an increasing dedication towards the development of renewable energy.

Some energy suppliers are starting to buy guarantees of origin for all energy the company sells. This allows for more money to flow towards producers of renewable energy. Agva Kraft is one of these energy companies that offers 100% renewable energy for their customers at a reasonable price.

With renewable energy at home and an e-bike for your daily commute your definitely taking responsibility for your share of greenhouse emissions.

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