Are California Policies Missing the Mark on E-Bikes?
For a long time, California has been one of the most innovative states in terms of tackling climate issues. A lot of this has been driven by legislation-based incentives for people to buy more environmentally friendly products. However, while the citizens of California have embraced electric bikes, the state government is woefully behind. Is it missing the mark?
The Power of E-Bikes
Electric bikes are a zero-emission form of transportation that is often overlooked for its environmental impact. However, they are especially valuable because they cut down on some of the most high-emitting and inefficient driving: city traffic. E-bikes in their current form are not an option for long commutes. However, they are perfect for city distances.
Many e-bikes have ranges up to around 70 miles in pedal-assist mode. They are not great for commutes of 30 minutes plus due to a top speed of around 25 to 30 miles per hour and not being allowed on highways. Nonetheless, they have the potential to have a serious positive impact on the environment. In fact, they already are.
Despite the gap in regulatory incentives, electric bikes have quickly become the fastest-growing segment in bikes. People who would never have considered buying a bike before are now turning to e-bikes as a viable option for transportation.
Commuters are increasingly turning to e-bikes to help them skip the traffic and get to work faster. Of course, people also buy them for other transportation needs such as running errands or going for a casual cruise.
The Opportunity for More
Of course, this could be even more significant. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the state and in most of the country. Rebates encourage buying electric cars and other environmentally friendly products such as solar panels.
In California, there are even rebates on electronic motorcycles. However, electric bikes are overlooked for some reason. Admittedly, electric bikes are significantly less expensive than most other electric vehicles. The average price of an electric car is $55,000. Nonetheless, even a modest rebate could have a positive impact.
In fact, encouraging switching to electric bikes could potentially have a great impact on the environment compared to the cost of the subsidy. E-bikes can potentially replace many car trips and substantially reduce emissions. Manufacturing of e-bikes has lower emissions than producing other electric vehicles also. In short, there is a huge opportunity being missed.
Some Progress So Far
While there is a lot more to be achieved for promoting the use of e-bikes, there has been some progress. For example, e-bikes were added to a trade-in program that gave vouchers for electric vehicles replacing polluting cars. However, this should be expanded to cover more of e-bike sales.
California has an opportunity to lead the way in promoting the use of electric bikes. Learn more about e-bikes and their impact on the world around us on the E-Lux Electric Bikes blog. Also, check out our lineup of e-bikes. If you want to cut down on your emissions, consider placing and order to enjoy all the great benefits of e-biking.