By Charles Pekow — Every car trip replaced by an ebike trip can reduce the “carbon footprint” fouling the atmosphere and causing climate change. With the growing popularity of ebikes and “55% of all trips being under five miles in the U.S, the opportunity for disruption is huge,” by replacing the car with the bike. So says a report from a group that has a dog in the fight, Bike Advisor, a website dedicated to getting people out on bicycles.
And those cars making trips of less than five miles “emit 551,940 metric tons of CO2 daily,” Bike Advisor says. Car trips (not counting buses and trucks) accounted for 40.5 percent of all transportation emissions in 2020, it says.
And many people who wouldn't take some or all trips by traditional bicycles may be willing to do so by ebike, as they don't get so tired or work up a sweat. Ebikes can do the most good in urban areas where trips tend to be shorter.
“At 5 miles, an e-bike is responsible for 15.55g of CO2 while a car emits a whopping 2020g! This means that by cutting a five mile trip out of your schedule each weekday, the modal shift would see a 540K (tons) daily reduction in CO2 emissions- the equivalent amount of CO2 released by 240 return flights from London to New York,” the report states, a 98% reduction in US carbon emissions for this length trip.
Bike Advisor doesn't suggest ways to get people out of cars and onto ebikes, though, and it doesn't factor in weather, or the fact that a car can carry more people or more cargo than an ebike.
You can see the report, including state-by-state potential, Can E-Bikes Replace Short Car Trips?, at https://thebikeadviser.com/how-much-co2-can-ebikes-save/ .