Electric bicycles, or eBikes, are a huge trend right across the developed world now. They are regularly in the news, are chic, are everywhere, and chances are that will only increase.
There are big, important messages around ecology, sustainability, cost savings and much more in the ebike space. We’ll touch on some of those and what they might mean to us and future generations.
The trend towards electric bikes has also been a big boost for lifestyle and health, employment, tourism, and way more than we could cover here.
And if you haven’t yet enjoyed the electric bike experience, it’s so easy and a lot of fun to try it out. More information below.
So what this article is about is summarising all that and more into 5 reasons to buy an ebike in 2023.
An eBike Could Save You A Ton Of Money – Reason 1
Personal transportation can be complicated. Family, school runs, shopping, commuting to work – you name it. But a car is extremely expensive, and extremely bad for our financial health.
Many households own at least two cars. Look at it this way – sources say the average new car price in Portugal is about €33,000, and maybe more now. Financing about 60% of that (€19,800) over 5 years (with about 40% residual value after 5 years) will cost you about an extra €2.500 (total €22,300 paid out, at a very conservative TAEG of 4.85%). Not even talking about the extra costs of gasoline, parking, insurance, road tax, routine maintenance, etc.
Say two family cars could instead be swapped for one family car plus one top-quality eBike. A creative little exercise just to consider how better off financially one could be. And progressive digital businesses like Uber can always fill any gaps more efficiently if transport by car is needed from time to time.
Contrary to what people think, the purpose of an e-bike is not to replace all car trips. Its purpose is to replace the simple, short trips and extend their distances up to a point where it replaces 90% of all car trips the family make.
eBikes for Sustainability, Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming – Reason 2
Not many will be so far out of touch as not to be aware of the climate and environmental damage being done by such astronomical drilling for, refining and consumption of fossil fuels in cars, trucks, buses, aircraft, factories, etc.
Less fossil-fuel-powered cars and more electric bicycles help move the balance in the right direction on all those counts. It’s the responsible thing to do. It’s also a lot of fun.
Electricity generation is also quickly moving away from smoke-stack coal and oil, some of the worst greenhouse gas offenders, towards sustainable sources such as wind and solar. And Portugal is a leader in adopting these technologies. So when we cycle electric, charging up our batteries is cleaner. And no queuing at the gasoline pump to pay about €70 for a 40L tankful either! Or at least less often.
Read about taking care of electric bicycle batteries here.
Take Back Your Time with an E Bike – Reason 3
Crawling traffic queues. A long line of stop-crawl brake lights in front of us, and the annoying lane-hoppers. Traffic queues don’t discriminate whether we’re in a premium Mercedes model or the smallest economy car. The effect on our bank account might be vastly different, but the amount of wasted time is the same.
Time for a re-think?
What if we could re-imagine our commute or in-city driving to combine the convenience and efficiency of the electric bicycle with for example Metro services? How might this give us back some of the dead-time spent sitting bumper-to-bumper listening to some celebrity radio host or DJ. While if we really had a choice there’s a list of more enjoyable things we’d rather be doing. Family time? Keeping fit? Walking our pet? Etc.?
Metro and sub-urban train services are bike-friendly and normally have good free parking facilities further out from city centres. The eBike would be the ideal way of by-passing the hassle of rush hour over-crowding at the most central stations and picking up the service further out.
Real benefits from taking an imaginative approach.
Young or Old Enough For An Electric Bicycle – Reason 4
Ebikes can be enjoyed by almost all. Has to be similar to a family outing to the local café on a Sunday morning! If we’re of an age that we like good coffee, chances are we’d also like an ebike! Both have such a wide appeal. Some cautions, maybe, either end of the age spectrum in terms of taking on the responsibility of a machine that can propel us at 25 km/h. But, like good coffee, the vast majority of people will be absolutely fine, and have a great time in the process.
In fact, speaking of good cafés, good coffee, etc. we recently stopped off at one of our favourite cafés. And there parked outside were two extremely nice, identical, full-spec electric bikes. Cool! Togetherness enjoying their eBikes and good coffee. Something special about that – cruising down to the local café – seems like the eBike may soon take over where Harley Davidson has left off!
But it’s probably a good time to mention the importance of always using a bike helmet. For the latest high-tech bicycle helmets see here.
Types, Recreation and Try An Electric Bike – Reason 5
You want a street cruiser eBike, sure, no problem. A mountain eBike? Yes, that too, and hybrid street / trail if that suits better. And lots other types too.
It’s amazing the range of electric bikes that are available and it would be impossible to describe them all here. The best thing to do is visit ‘Business’ in ‘City’ and check out the latest and best in ebike design and technology for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
There are even more great reasons to own an ebike. For recreation you will also have a truly fantastic range of dedicated, road-traffic-free, world-class ciclovias available to you right from Porto. These stretch along the coast to the south and to the north for many kilometers. In some places it is also permitted to cycle on the ciclovias, but check the signs first to make sure. Where cycling on passadiços is not permitted, there are usually quiet coastal backroads and tracks. But always be careful and considerate when sharing the way with pedestrians.
Still have questions, or not sure what to do next? Go along to ‘Business’, book a test-ride or rent an electric bike for a day or more to get a real flavour of this wonderful new mobility!
Some general information about bike rental for city and trail here.
Guest Post Writer Bio
George Hannan is a keen cyclist and hiker who enjoys the cyclovias and trails of Northern Portugal. George blogs about active, healthy lifestyles at https://georgehannan.com