In what feels like another lifetime, I was once a hardcore professional advocate of biking for transportation. I also lived car-free for 15 years. I know the pitch well. It’s better for your health, better for your state of mind, much cheaper, cuts pollution tremendously, preemptively wins oil wars (by not starting them), and is fun! Most of our trips are within a rather small radius, and many places we go are much more accessible by bike than we assume if we haven’t made the trip by bike before.
I also know that, despite all of those selling points, most Americans will just get in their cars in the morning and think, “that sounds cool, but it’s not for me.” This is one reason why I am such a big advocate for electric cars — because they are absolutely critical to cutting CO2 emissions and not turning the Earth into an unlivable oven. I’ve talked to countless people about the things in the first paragraph above, and I’ve seen how hard it is to get people to change habits.
Interestingly, at the time that I was the director of a nonprofit focused on those things, electric bikes were just getting going. I knew people who were very excited about that, and I can say that as a fairly young dude who loved the benefits of normal bicycling, I didn’t see the true potential of electric micromobility back then. That’s not to say I wasn’t supportive and didn’t think that it was a great trend, but I underestimated how much not having to sweat while still going quite fast, not having to suffer from bad joints (I’ve got mine now!), and the marketing of these machines would pay off and see them rise in popularity. Today, the market for electric bikes is enormous. Then there are also electric scooters, etc. Still, there’s so much potential that is still unrealized.
Another CleanTechnica editor recently scooped up this snippet from the US Department of Energy: “According to a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, high adoption of shared micromobility can save 2.3 billion gasoline-equivalent gallons per year nationwide. The study analyzed four different levels of shared micromobility adoption using national and city-level data. The shared micromobility modes studied were electric-powered bicycles (e-bikes), electric-powered standing scooters (e-scooters), electric-powered seated scooters (seated scooters), and manual-powered bicycles (m-bikes). E-bikes and seated scooters, which typically have longer trip distances, were the modes responsible for the greatest savings.” Here’s the point in visual form:
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that millions of people could simplify their lives, benefit from more health-boosting transportation options, save money, and have a lot of fun in the process by using these micromobility options. And, oh yeah, cut pollution enormously.
Let’s do it!
Featured image courtesy of LINK.