Category Archives: Electric vehicles

Can e-bikes help in the fight against climate change?

E-bikes are criticized by traditional bickers as somewhat in between a car and a the common bicycle. It is clear that they do not pollute as much as a car, but neither do they use they only the energy of your legs. Rather, they need electricity for a propel functioning and all depends on the pool of energy the electricity comes from. For example, if you live in a country where all the energy is produced by renewable energy, that is OK, but if your country generates 20% of it from green sources and 80% from pollutant origins, then the e-bikes are not so environmentally friendly as one can thought. Still, it is better than a pollutant car, and environmental activism should be done to contribute to the change of the energy sources in the last country.

Some figures I have found on the carbon footprint related to e-bikes are the following:

– 75% is generated in the production process

– 15% goes to the batteries charging

– 10% compromises logistics, packaging and the recycling of the e-bike at the end of its life

– The carbon footprint of an e-bike is around 14 CO2 grams/km. Compare it with 150 CO2 grams/km of a car or the 60-80 CO2 grams/km of the public transport

Moreover, an e-bike consumes about 7 Wh. If a 500 Wh battery is incorporated to the same bike, it can travel more than 80 km. For a comparison purpose, this energy cost is similar to a microwave working for 30 minutes, a computer for 2 hours or a refrigerator for 60 minutes.

Besides, the cargo e-bike allows transporting impressive loads from common shopping to a piano. Indeed, more a more parcel deliveries are using them in what is called the last mile delivery which is usually done inside cities and villages.

Emergency-bike

Most of people think about bicycles as the traditional vehicle in which one person rides in order to move herself from point A to point B. But a bike can be utilized for a myriad of uses from cargo bikes to emergency-bike. As time goes by, cities are becoming more a more bike and pedestrian friendly. However, in some cases when an emergency vehicle is needed, it can found it difficult to move in labyrinthine areas like downtown. In such cases, bicycles are ideal to move fast on them since the small space it needs as well as its versatility make it an ideal way of transport.

Paris is a beautiful city which has been opting for promoting the bike use among its citizens and tourists. They faced the problem of health emergencies with the innovative idea of the emergency-bike. It consists in a modified cargo bike with the essential equipment for doctors to save lives. Moreover, the project took place with the involvement of the Parisian emergency service, thus they gave engineers the medical perspective. As a result, this bike counts on a 150 capacity liters special storage compartment in which to carry medical supplies, a 140 dB horn, a high intensity, blue LED light, anti-flat tires, a GPS unit and one USB port. What is more, an electrical motor makes it easy and fast moving with the emergency-bike. Indeed, saving a life is a matter of time as every minute a patient does not get care by a doctor, the life expectancy is reduced by a 10%. As a result, the two 500 Wh batteries of the emergency-bike fulfills this need.

On the other hand, the implication of health professionals is essential. At the beginning, engineers made lots of prototypes with the advice of medical staff. Going step by step, they finally created the emergency-bike. Precisely the health workers involvement allowed the emergency-bike to be used from day one because it comply with their needs. Furthermore, studies have been made on the emergency-bike use concluding that doctors take care of patients twice as fast as cars and they attend the double of daily medical interventions thank to this bicycle.