environmentalist with ebike

What Do Ebikes Do for the Environment?

Ebikes, by their virtue of being electric bicycles, powered by a battery and an electric motor that emit no emissions, are one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport around. It is not only that a journey by ebike emits no CO2, it also saves the amount of CO2 being emitted if that particular journey instead was undertaken by a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.

There are many benefits, and not only for the environment, to using an ebike instead of a car, and as ebike use increases incrementally over time, these benefits will multiply, therefore saving the users money on petrol or diesel fuel, but also, by their mere use, decrease the amount of petrol and diesel journeys on the public roads, and consequently, cut down on the amount of traffic on those roads. The less traffic there is, the more appealing an ebike may appear to those more timid about using one on the same stretch of road used by vehicles.

Environmental Benefits of an Ebike

So, some of the environmental benefits of using ebikes are:

No pollution

No CO2 emissions

No use of fossil fuels

Less ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) traffic

Less ICE traffic means better quality air in busy roads

Less ICE traffic also means less use of fossil fuels proportionate to the smaller number of vehicle journeys required to be undertaken.

Personal Benefits of an Ebike

Other benefits of using ebikes are:

Saving money on petrol or diesel if using an ebike instead of a vehicle

Save commuting costs if using an ebike instead of the bus or train

Improve fitness and health by light exercise outdoors

In busy city streets, journeys could be quicker

No parking charges when you reach your destination

Above are just a few of the benefits, there are many more, both of environmental benefits, and the personal benefits to the user of an ebike. If you truly want to lower your carbon footprint, and save money while you do so, and keep yourself fit and healthy at the same time, then there is nothing in the market more appealing for personal transportation than an ebike.

ebike rider over bridge looking at road traffic
The more ebikes on the roads, the less vehicles

Ebike Carbon Saving Possibilities

A recent study at the university of Leeds found that:

  • Electrically-assisted bicycles (e-bikes), if used to replace car travel, have the capability to cut car carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in England by up to 50% (about 30 million tonnes per year).
  • The greatest opportunities are in rural and sub-urban settings: city dwellers already have many low-carbon travel options, so the greatest impact would be on encouraging use outside urban areas.
  • There is scope for e-bikes to help people who are most affected by rising transport costs.”


30 million tons of CO2 is a serious amount of environmental benefit to one small country in the world. If this, or something close to it, could come to fruition and was replicated in other countries of the world, then that would surely put a major dent in the battle to combat the climate crisis we have today.

Of course, this is only one study, and would rely on a great deal of people changing behaviour to meet all the criteria for the CO2 savings. But just as it may seem an impossible task, to reach 30 million tons of CO2 savings, it does not mean we should not aim to get there. After all, even reaching a goal of 10 million tons, or 20 million tons of CO2 savings would still be commendable.

See also: The Environment and the Ebike


What Should I Do, A New Car or A New Ebike?

Why Don’t Governments Do More to Promote Ebikes?

It can be frustrating if you are an individual that regards yourself as taking climate change seriously and doing all you can yourself to combat the climate crisis. However much you do for yourself personally, it can seem like a very small drop in a large ocean if you feel like you are the only one, or only one of a few, that is serious about their carbon footprint, especially when on the news each day you are told how crucial it is to do something about it.

Individuals can only do so much though, and that is why governments need to take a lead and do more. There are many ways for a government to do this that are well out of reach of an individual.

Some of such could be:

Financial incentives to promote the purchase of ebikes.

Legislate to create and improve road access for cyclists; e.g., better and safer cycling lanes.

Creating safe cycle friendly zones in town and city centres, free from vehicle traffic.

Free, or low cost, and secure, ebike charging points, to encourage ebike users from further afield to come to towns or cities by ebike instead of using a car.

electric bike charging points in town
More ebike charging points will encourage more people to use electric bikes

Governments Will Benefit with Greater Ebike Use

Ultimately, the more ebike users there are on the roads, the more a government will benefit. More ebike users, means less vehicle traffic, means less congestion and less wear and tear on the road infrastructure. Less traffic means improved air quality, and more people using ebikes means a fitter and healthier proportion of the population needing less use of health services.

Individuals Will Benefit with Greater Ebike Use

The more ebikes on the road, the less ICE traffic there will be, therefore the safer and healthier a regular trip by ebike will be.

An ebike is far cheaper to buy and maintain than a car, therefore if you can replace your car entirely and use an ebike for all your trips, you are going to save a great deal. If you keep the car, but use the ebike for a good proportion of your trips, you will still save on fuel costs, and parking charges.

If you want to calculate your carbon footprint and how much of a difference there is using an ebike instead of a car, then have a try of the get around greener calculator here.

05 Feb 2022

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