Electric Bikes History & Facts

E-bike History

E-bikes first appeared — briefly — in a much clunkier incarnation on the transportation scene in the 1970s following the energy crisis. (International Herald Tribune, www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/business/transcol15.php)

They started gaining more notice in the mid-1990s. These versions incorporated pedal-activated power, followed by hub motors. (International Herald Tribune, www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/business/transcol15.php)

Electric Bikes Worldwide Reports, an industry newsletter, estimates that 100,000 electric bikes were sold nationwide in 2005. (NY Times, www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/business/businessspecial2/21ebike.html?pagewanted=all)

E- bike sales are forecast to double by 2009 to 200,000 from 100,000 in 2005. (International Herald Tribune, www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/business/transcol15.php)

E-bike Facts

The total cost per mile (including energy cost, purchase price and the cost of running the vehicle) is less than 5 cents for an e-bike versus 71 cents for a car. (NY Times, www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/business/businessspecial2/21ebike.html?pagewanted=all)

Electric bikes can generally cover 20 to 50 miles on a battery charge, well within the distance of many daily commutes. (NY Times, www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/business/yourmoney/06bikes.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/C/Commuting&pagewanted=all)

For every 500 miles an electric bike is used in place of a car, an average of 25 gallons of fuel is saved. (www.electric-bikes.com/envbenefits.html)

For every 500 miles an electric bike is used in place of a car, this much pollution is prevented: 3.42 pounds of hydrocarbons, 25.28 pounds of carbon monoxide, and 1.77 pounds of nitrogen oxides. (www.electric-bikes.com/envbenefits.html)

Global sales of bikes driven by battery-powered electric motors have climbed nearly 20 percent since 2005. (International Herald Tribune, www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/business/transcol15.php)

In terms of fuel economy, the e-bike’s energy consumption translates into about 1000 miles per gallon. (www.electricbicyclehere.com/Electric_Assist_Bicycle.html)

Statistics show that about half of all trips and errands are within 10 miles from home, easily in the range of these bikes. (www.electricbicyclehere.com/Electric_Assist_Bicycle.html)

Electric motorized bicycles can be power-on-demand, where the motor is activated by a handlebar mounted throttle, and/or a pedelec (from pedal electric), where the electric motor is regulated by pedaling.

Electric bike batteries can be charged by plugging into an electrical outlet or by pedaling with some modes.

Electric bikes can go up to 20 mph.

Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year (www.bikewalktwincities.org/bike/whybike).