The United States is witnessing a significant shift in its transportation landscape. Electric bikes (e-bikes), electric trikes, and electric rickshaw bikes (really they’re trikes, but you know, SEO) are gaining popularity, heralding a new era of sustainable and accessible transportation. These small electric vehicles (SEVs) are not only transforming the way Americans commute but also contributing to the reduction of carbon footprints in bike-accessible communities and cities.
If you live in or vacation to a beach town, you will likely see a huge boom of these electric trikes this summer. Trikes are superior to bikes for lugging beach equipment and small children (this is where rickshaws excel), but they have been way to heavy in the past to be a feasible option for hauling cargo. Electric assist makes a trike or rickshaw much easier to ride and turns it into a less expensive alternative to an electric golf cart.
E-bikes, electric trikes, and electric rickshaw trikes cater to a broad demographic spectrum. E-bikes are particularly popular among millennials and Gen Z, who prioritize sustainability and convenience. They are also gaining traction among older adults who appreciate the pedal-assist feature, making cycling more accessible and enjoyable.
My father is 70 years old and didn’t ride a bike at all from the time he hurt one of his knees in his 50s until he got an electric bike. No he can go on several miles long bike rides without fear of his knee starting to hurt and being unable to return home. He can use the pedal assist feature to go long distances and then if he starts to get aches and pains, he can go full electric on the way back. It’s amazing.
Electric trikes, with their stability and ease of use, are popular among seniors and people with mobility issues. They offer a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that promotes physical activity and independence.
Electric rickshaw trikes are becoming a hit in urban areas, serving as an eco-friendly alternative for short-distance transportation. They are popular among entrepreneurs and small business owners who use them for delivery services or as a unique, green solution for urban transportation. Electric trikes can also be used for eco-friendly trash and recycling collection services.
The market for these SEVs is expected to witness substantial growth in the coming years. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global e-bike market size is expected to reach USD 46.04 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% during the forecast period. The market for electric trikes and rickshaw trikes is also expected to grow significantly due to increasing urbanization, rising fuel costs, and growing environmental concerns.
7.3% is pretty amazing for any industry and especially great for an eco-friendly industry.
Reducing Carbon Footprints
SEVs are playing a crucial role in reducing carbon footprints. They offer a clean mode of transportation, producing zero direct emissions. By replacing car trips, they can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study by the European Cyclists’ Federation, e-bikes produce 21 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometer, compared to 271 grams for a car.
The major upside to electric bikes is that there is not nearly as much weight that needs to be lugged around when compared to a car or even a motorcycle. A ebike gets the equivalent of 2,240 MPG! An explanation and calculation:
Electric bikes (e-bikes) are highly efficient, but their efficiency is typically not measured in terms of equivalent miles per gallon (MPGe) as they do not consume gasoline. Instead, their efficiency is often measured in watt-hours per mile (Wh/mile).
However, if we were to convert the energy efficiency of an e-bike to an equivalent miles per gallon figure, it would be extraordinarily high.
Here’s a rough calculation:
1 gallon of gasoline contains about 33,600 watt-hours (Wh) of energy. If we consider a typical e-bike that might consume around 15 Wh per mile for moderate pedaling assistance, we can calculate the equivalent as follows:
33,600 Wh/gallon ÷ 15 Wh/mile = 2,240 equivalent miles per gallon.
This calculation is a rough approximation and the actual figure can vary based on factors such as the level of pedal assistance used, the weight of the rider, the terrain, and the efficiency of the motor and battery.
This high energy efficiency, coupled with the fact that electricity can be generated from renewable sources, makes e-bikes a very environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
One of the key advantages of these SEVs is their compatibility with standard Level 2 EV chargers, albeit you’ll need some extra equipment and need to be aware of safety risks. These chargers can fully charge an e-bike, electric trike, or rickshaw trike in just a few hours, making them ideal for daily commuting. The growing network of public charging stations across the country further enhances their practicality.
The Future of Short Distance Transportation
The rise of e-bikes, electric trikes, and electric rickshaw trikes in the USA is a testament to the country’s shift towards sustainable transportation. As these SEVs continue to gain popularity, they will play a critical role in shaping a greener, more accessible future for all. The best electric tricycles for adults are also relatively affordable.