June 29, 2021

Here’s the Best Climate Investment for California. Is it the Best Here Too?

No matter what you personally think about electric bikes, they are the next darling of micromobility and can be ridden by just about everyone.  A study undertaken in Norway shows that people that own  e-bikes quadruple the kilometers travelled by bike, and change their time spent on transport by bike up to 49 percent. That has huge implications for carbon emissions.

 The Daily Kos in California shows that not only are electric bikes better value than electric cars, they also contribute to more greenhouse gas reductions. California lawmakers are looking at subsidizing electric cars with up to 1.5 billion dollars of supports, but what can be done to get people to use e-bikes?

Opinion is changing and Bill AB 117, the E-Bike Affordability Bill proposes ten million dollars  would establish a pilot program to incentivize the purchase of electric bicycles.  As part of the Air Quality program, the purpose is to make e-bikes more affordable and accessible to people in California.

The executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition calls e-bikes “carbon crushers”.

The reality (and we see the same in British Columbia) is that electric vehicle ownership is still out of the sphere of most incomes. California’s registered ownership for all electric vehicles is less than one percent. In British Columbia there are 54,000 electric vehicles, but the entry price for a vehicle is still $38,000 for a basic Volkswagen Golf.

Direct e-bike subsidies make e-bikes attainable, reduces traffic congestion and improves safety on the road, besides impacting greenhouse gas emissions. And they can be used for cargo too. Sam Starr in the video below talks about the need for more government support for e-bike adoption.



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