How sustainable is an electric bike?

Table of Contents

How environmentally friendly is an electric bicycle? In recent years, the e-bike has become increasingly popular in many European countries. How sustainable is taking the e-bike instead of a car, a scooter or in comparison with taking a regular bike? This article will compare an electric bicycle with other means of transportation to discuss the most sustainable option. 

Note: are you the proud owner of a Van Moof – or another type of e-bike-? Please be prepared that you may not want to read this article…

The popular e-bike

E-bikes are spreading like wildfire at the moment. With higher speed and less effort needed on your part, the e-bike is a promising option. An e-bike can be a sustainable mode of transport, but that all depends on how it is manufactured, used, and disposed of at the end of its life. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Manufacturing: The sustainability of an e-bike starts with its production. Manufacturers should strive to use sustainable materials, reduce waste, and minimize the carbon footprint of production. It’s important to look for e-bikes made with eco-friendly materials and made in factories that prioritize sustainability.

  2. Energy use: E-bikes are powered by electricity, and the sustainability of an e-bike depends on how that electricity is generated. If the electricity comes from renewable sources like solar, wind, or hydro, then the e-bike is much more sustainable than if it’s powered by fossil fuels. Additionally, e-bikes can be charged using a portable solar panel, which can make them even more sustainable.

  3. Use: E-bikes can replace car trips and reduce carbon emissions, which makes them a sustainable choice for transportation. However, it’s important to use them in moderation, and not rely on them exclusively for every trip. E-bikes are best used for short to medium distance trips, and riders should still prioritize walking, biking, or using public transportation when possible.

  4. Disposal: When an e-bike reaches the end of its life, it’s important to dispose of it responsibly. Many e-bike components can be recycled, and it’s good to look for manufacturers who have take-back programs or who offer guidance on how to dispose of e-bikes in an environmentally responsible way.

Overall, an e-bike can be a sustainable mode of transportat, but it’s important to consider the entire lifecycle of the e-bike, from production to disposal, and take steps to make it as sustainable as possible.

how sustainable is the e-bike

Electric bike, step, car, scooter or normal bike?

It depends on which means of transportation you leave behind to determine how environmentally friendly an e-bike (electric bicycle) is. 

  • The most sustainable option is the normal bike. This is mainly because of the raw materials and production of the battery and motor used for e-bikes. 
  • A electric step can cover an average distance of 30 to 50 kilometres. 
  • An electric step is often more sustainable than an e-bike, as the motor is smaller and has limited wear.
  • With an e-bike, the average distance that you can cover is 60 kilometres. 
  • The e-bike is less sustainable than a regular bike but more sustainable than an e-scooter.
  • The e-scooter is less environmentally friendly than a e-bike. The e-scooter uses around 3 to 5 times as much power. Also, the e-scooter has a much larger battery than an e-bike, meaning the production of the battery and motor is more harmful to the environment.
  • An electric car is less sustainable than an e-bike. A car uses ten times more power for the same distance when compared to an e-bike. Also, because the battery of an electric car is more than 100 times as big as the battery of an e-bike, there are a lot more raw materials used. The degrading of the battery of an electric car is still quite harmful for the environment.
It is good to note that according to a recent study in the Netherlands, e-bikes are not that sustainable because they do not substitute car trips very often. In general, e-bike trips only significantly reduce conventional bicycle trips in the Netherlands. Which can be an unwanted effect from a policy-viewpoint. Meaning that e-bikes are not very sustainable as they more commonly tend to take away from regular cycling, and not car trips. 

Share this on:

Other wave making stories:


Sprout Challenger50

We have some exiting news to share – again! Aquablu is nominated in the Challanger50.  This prestigious nomination is awarded to the most innovative and

Read more

Welcome back, please login to your account

Ready for the wave?

Ready for the wave?