E-Bicycles: Pedalling Towards A Sustainable Future

Affecting the environment worldwide, global warming is a serious threat that has alerted countries, governments, and environmentally conscious people to look for a sustainable alternative to replace fossil fuels.

aditya oza

Mobility, technology, and the environment are entwined in attaining a sustainable future. The pressing need to curb the excessive consumption of fossil fuels for transportation, which, as reports suggest accounts for a fifth of global carbon emissions, has put the spotlight on electricity-driven modes of transport. 

Affecting the environment worldwide, global warming is a serious threat that has alerted countries, governments, and environmentally conscious people to look for a sustainable alternative to replace fossil fuels. Enter e-bicycles. With significant improvement in technology in the last decade, e-bikes have shown great potential as an effective and environment-friendly transport solution across the globe. 

A growing chorus 

This is also the reason why in November 2021, during the COP26 summit in Glasgow, a global coalition of over 60 cycling organizations published an open letter calling on governments, “to commit to increasing the number of people who cycle to reach global climate goals”. In a warning, the letter further stated that if more determined and urgent actions are not taken to cut down on transport carbon emissions, we will be responsible for passing our present and future generations a world that will be more hostile and less inhabitable.

E-mobility is the way forward 

The global electric bike market size is expected to see growth from $18.58 billion in 2021 to $52.36 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 16.0% in the period from 2021-2028. In addition to this, a research firm, in its recent findings has predicted that in India, the e-bike market will be valued at $2.08 million by 2026, up from $1.02 million in 2021. This uptick in the market valuation complements India’s aim to expedite efforts towards smart and sustainable cities in which e-mobility is shaping itself to play an important role. 

As F.A Hayek, an Austrian-British economist, and philosopher has said, “Before we can even ask how things might go wrong, we must first explain how they could ever go right,” e-bikes must become a part of people’s social practices. Besides benefits for the environment and urban sustainability, e-cycles also offer a range of other benefits — from being health-friendly to offering an opportunity to time travel to the days of newfound freedom and reinvent yourself – a green way to have fun!

To tackle climate change and its impact, the e-bicycle is seen as one of the biggest innovations of the 21st century. It is bringing about substantial societal changes such as improving urban air quality and public health, especially in heavily populated cities and resulting in easing traffic congestion. 

Amid a raging pandemic, a boom in e-bicycle sales across the globe indicates a shift in consumer behaviour that is finding a workable solution to the problems of commuting and exercising in a pandemic. A call for social distancing and the quest for a protected, extra accessible public transportation and sustainable journey have led to the rising adoption of e-bikes among native residents. And as it is predicted that by 2050, over 2-5 billion people are expected to be living in cities, more e-bicycle usage will be necessary to take us all towards a sustainable future and reduce the strain on existing transport options.

The e-bicycle industry is transforming itself to be the game-changer in achieving an advanced and greener world. Thus, we are not very far from seeing futuristic e-bicycles with a solar-powered backup moto, an on-board computer, which displays a range of data about the ride such as speed, location, and calorie consumption that will also be robust and stable enough for challenging surfaces used widely. Further, folding urban e-bikes that will make city riding safe and efficient will be fit into a container about the size of a briefcase. 

When it comes to parking, a staggering amount of our urban space is devoted to storing cars that may sit still for long hours daily. To take up less space, and turn our current car-based parking system into things needed for recreational activities, e-bikes will play a significant role in bringing out more spaces inside real estate properties in the urban landscape. 

Need for a cycling ecosystem

With e-bikes as the fastest-growing e-mobility segment, a cycling ecosystem is a central element in the ongoing mobility transition. Today, the need of the hour is to address the challenges of e-mobility holistically by acknowledging the potential of e-cycles and drafting an urban mobility framework. 

Governments must take simple yet effective measures to roll out more and better infrastructure such as building dedicated cycling lanes to make it popular and a preferred choice among people. The aim is to bring everyone on the same lane for a sustainable future. 

In conclusion, e-bicycle must be a cornerstone of a global, national and local strategy to meet the net-zero carbon target together. The onus first is on the government in terms of providing the financing and legislation for safe and equitable space for cycling, and then on citizens who are embracing this transition and will pass it onto the upcoming generation for a greener economy and a prosperous world.

Author: Aditya Oza, CMO & Co-founder – EMotorad

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First published on: 28-01-2022 at 13:10 IST