The Path to Drawdown: E-bikes
Electric bicycles come with a motor powered by a small battery, making it easier to traverse steep hills or cover long distances than conventional bicycles. E-bikes are the most environmentally friendly means of motorized transportation in the world today.
Compared to combustion engine vehicles, e-bikes emit far fewer emissions. But they’re not emissions-free: the manufacturing process for their batteries lead to higher CO2 emissions than traditional bikes, and the battery gets its charge from the nearest outlet, regardless of whether that’s coal-based or solar-based.
Nevertheless, e-bikes are a low-emission solution to congested cities around the world. They’ve already been widely adopted in China since the 1990s, when that country’s booming cities implemented strict anti-pollution rules.
Project Drawdown envisions a significant increase in the use of e-bikes between now and 2050:
- <::marker> In 2018, e-bike riders traveled ~586 billion km, mainly in China
- <::marker> By 2050, this should increase to 3.4 trillion km per year
- <::marker> That’s a 5.65% CAGR between 2018 - 2050
If this scenario is achieved, e-bikes can help reduce up to 4.1 gigatons of CO2 emissions.