Many people might not be familiar with ebikes and how popular they are becoming. They are becoming particularly popular in big cities, such as Chicago, Illinois. Basically, an ebike is an electric bicycle that’s equipped with a motor & battery with varying voltage/wattage specifications.
Ebikes allow people to travel much more quickly, up to about 20 miles per hour. It would be able to drive in a way that is actually comparable to a car on many streets. At the time, there are not many physically protected bike lanes, so that this can become a truly mainstream way of traveling, but it may happen in the future.
There was a Chicago ordinance passed in 2019 that permits ebikes to be ridden on bike ways, as long as the ebike is under 25 pounds in weight. The motor can only provide assistance when the person is pedaling, and it should stop providing assistance when the bike gets up to 20 miles per hour.
In 2020, ebikes came to the Divvy fleet. It is possible that this will be a sort of gateway to people buying their own electric bicycles. The sales of ebikes are expected to grow significantly in the next 10 years.
There is a variety of benefits that come with riding ebikes. Clearly, they are good for the environment, as you will not be emitting the same kinds of noxious fumes that you would be if you were driving a car. In addition, these bikes can keep older adults in a healthier lifestyle where they are more active. It can also allow people with mobility challenges to continue riding their bikes, and it can help people who are riding bikes feel more confident when they are riding in mixed traffic.
There are many things that the city can do to facilitate bike riding. They can transform the streets into the spaces that are needed for these bikers. They can also require bike rooms in multifamily buildings, allow bike parking in commercial and residential areas, and even provide individual bike lockers.
In Chicago, Divvy ebikes are the most common type of e-bike. These give pedal-assist motors in order to make the ride easy and are considered a very easy way to get around the city of Chicago without putting in too much energy. These go up to 15 miles per hour, and people have to pay a price for these bikes, depending on whether they are members or not. They can park the ebike by docking or locking at any Divvy station.
Specifically, in the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic inspired many people to buy ebikes. This is likely because people want to still be able to get around town, but they need a socially distanced way to be able to do it. An e-bike allows them to do this and get the physical activity that will keep them healthy, so that their bodies are in the best shape possible to be able to fight the virus.
Essentially, ebikes are a growing trend in Chicago, and this is expected to continue in the years to come.