By now it is likely that you’ve already heard of e-bikes. Bicycles with a part-electric motor, to assist you up those steep hills, and to maintain higher speeds on regular routes than you could previously. A great concept and a very 21st century motivation to get people on their bikes.
Then regulation begins to suck the fun out.
As with most new technology on wheels nowadays (think back to ‘hover-boards’), not long behind the popularisation of e-bikes is also the regulation of e-bikes. What does this fully entail? Well, it has been argued that it may reach the point of bicycles being required to have number plates of their own, along with being fully insured to be used on the road.
So will this be a pro or a con for potential cyclists? Or other road users?
You’re hardly hitting speeds of a car on roads though surely?
Not necessarily true. There have been records of e-bikes hitting speeds of over 30mph “easily” which, realistically, does actually begin to pose a risk to other road users and pedestrians alike.
OK, well the estimations of pedestrian deaths from cyclists versus cars is 3 against 300+. Not only this, but by using this statistic one could suggest that almost three times as many pedestrians are killed by cars in a year than there are actual cyclists who have died on the road.
Naturally, a concern in the case of e-bikes is to not see a rise in these figures!
Will it be state insured or 3rd-party?
It looks as if the future insurance of your e-bike will be the same as anything else, comparing insurance online for the best deal.
Are they popular enough to consider insurance?
Each day the answer to this question is becoming more and more obvious.
E-bikes are a fantastic creation, they can act as a perfectly viable alternative to cars for inner-city commutes – thus beginning to tackle a significant pollution concern, and can act as assistance to those who could have physical difficulties with traditional cycling.
That’s just speaking about the UK, Europe’s e-bike future looks even more certain. In fact, Uber will soon be offering e-bike rentals across Europe, and bikes are already more popular than cars in places like the Netherlands.
E-bike or car then?
For those looking for an alternative for inner-city commuting, or a more environmentally conscious travel option, then certainly consider e-bikes.
The introduction of regulation should not be seen as a deterrent to the idea whatsoever, although it may seem a little delayed – it was always inevitable.
So you may have to insure it too, but think of the mass savings from not purchasing or consuming fossil fuels, avoiding congestion charges, and shaping those cyclist’s legs you’ve always dreamed of!