Passenger cars are responsible for 53% of UK transport emissions…
Much of this is from journeys of less than 5 miles. We’ve grown to depend on our dear motorcars for even the shortest trips – and our environment and communities are the poorer for it.
Commuting accounts for 65% of work-related car journeys. Last year, we studied the commuting habits of 43,000 employees from the public and private sector. No fewer than 9,445 (22%) live within 5 miles of their workplace and commute by car each day.
Conventional bicycles are an ideal alternative for many short trips but few of us cycle regularly; bicycle use in the UK is among the lowest in the EU (around 3%), with many potential cyclists put off by the perception that the journey will take too long, require too much effort, and that a shower and change of clothes will be needed at the journey’s end.
Why aren’t more of us travelling by bicycle?
- Hills and headwinds
- Longer journey times
- Many find cycling hard work
- Need for shower and change of clothes afterwards
E-bikes remove many of the barriers to cycling…
- Hills and headwinds – e-bikes make light of these
- Long journey times – e-bikes are faster and more fun
- Many find cycling hard work – e-bikes are for everyone, irrespective of fitness levels
- Need for shower at journey end – e-bikes provide all the benefits of cycling, without the sweat
E-bikes have the potential to deliver enormous environmental benefits…
They are classed as Zero Emission Vehicles, but this a bit misleading because it takes no account of how the electricity used to charge them is generated. We calculate that when re-charged from the UK national grid, our e-bikes emit 0.0036kgCo2e per mile. The average passenger car emits around 100 times more.
If those of us living less than 5 miles from work commuted on an e-bike instead of a car, it would save 3.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – greater than the entire transport related carbon emissions from our NHS.
…and can deliver huge financial savings
If those of us living less than 5 miles from work commuted on an e-bike instead of a car, the state would save £4.9 billion, employers would save £2.2 billion, and commuters would save £3.7 billion each and every year.