A leading nature travel company, Natural Habitat Adventures, welcomed its staff back from the holidays by giving all 85 of them e-bikes, which will help clean up the local commute and support the company’s 100% carbon neutral policy.
Natural Habitat Adventures, the Boulder-based conservation and adventure travel company behind the upcoming “World’s First Zero Waste Adventure” trip, might have to install some new bike racks in its parking lot, and maybe an outlet or two, to support its employees new commuter fleet of Propella e-bikes, but it’s not a stretch at all to see why the company would choose to give out electric bikes to its staff. The company has been offsetting all of the carbon emissions for its trips and office operations since 2007, by working with Sustainable Travel International (STI) to fund carbon reduction projects around the globe, and is the conservation travel partner of the World Wildlife Fund.
The staff’s new e-bikes are 7-speed Propella models, about which CleanTechnica’s own Nicolas Zart said “could be the perfect city dweller’s e-mobility solution,” and which retail for about $1300. The 37-pound e-bikes feature a 250W rear hub motor powered by a 36 Volt 6.8Ah battery, which is capable of speeds up to 18 mph and a range of 20-35 miles between charging, with a 2.5 hour charging time.
“Our goal is to encourage more and more of our staff to commute to work with as little impact on the planet as possible. But more than that, we saw the eBikes as a fun idea that would challenge other companies—really big companies—to incorporate sustainability into everything they do, even their holiday gifts.” – Ben Bressler, Natural Habitat Adventure’s President
E-bikes, as one of the most affordable and approachable means for cleaning up local transportation, have a raft of benefits beyond just lowering carbon emissions from transportation, as they’re also one of the means to reducing traffic congestion and parking woes, while also supporting better personal health and enabling people who would normally not be able to bicycle to get in the saddle more often, thanks to the assist of the electric motor.
That same technological lever of a rechargeable battery and powerful electric motor allows people “to bike more often, to travel longer distances, and to carry more cargo with them,” which is one of the key features needed for more people to start thinking of bikes (and e-bikes) beyond just a fun way to get some fresh air on a sunny day, and instead as a viable and healthy — and increasingly affordable — method for commuting to work and school, running errands, and otherwise taking car of everyday business. Granted, the location of both home and work or school plays a big part in whether or not a bike commute is feasible, but with the additional boost from an electric motor, and a battery capable of supporting rides of 20 miles or more, at speeds high enough to make short work of the miles, more people than ever can take advantage of two-wheeled transportation.