We're in the midst of a quiet transportation revolution right now. Recent advances in electric motors and batteries have made electric cars a reality and they're getting cheaper and better every day. A lot of people have noticed this, but electric bicycles (eBikes) haven't gotten nearly as much attention. These machines are so efficient they can have lower emissions per mile than walking or pedaling a regular bike. Back to the Future II promised us hoverboards by 2015. Instead, we got eBikes that get over 1,000 MPGe and save us thousands more dollars than they cost. Maybe the future's not so bad?
This is the first time I have seen an attempt to compare an e-bike to pedaling! Well done and I think you did a great job with the article. However, I think the approach may be slightly off, thought the correction shouldn't change the overall conclusion. When you calculate the MPG eq of the e-bike, it looks like you are calculating energy efficiency of electricity which is already in usable form. A more fair comparison would be to compare "well to wheel" economy of the energy going into the e-bike to the energy in the food. I think this because the conversion of raw materials (food) for the pedaling case is being accounted for whereas for the e-bike, the conversion of raw material (coal or sunshine or wind or gas for turbines etc) is not being accounted for. In that respect, it isn't a fair comparison at all. If we were comparing efficiencies for on board storage rather than well to wheel, then we should compare onboard stored electricity as you have done to ATP counts (Adenosine triphosphate which is the energy storage molecule in the body). But, at a result of 1000+mpg eq to about 100 mpg eq, I am sure it wouldn't change your overall conclusion. Just some feedback to make sure we are comparing apples to apples rather than apples to ATP :D
Incredibly janky port of comments from my old WordPress site:
2021-05-23 at 12:16 am
Hi, do you know which is the lightest e-bike pout there. As an official old lady who has biked most of her life, would love to graduate to one of these, but would need to lift it for storage, and the old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. Thanks.
2020-08-15 at 2:56 am
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Please let me know. Thank you