Taking short trips in a car may seem convenient, but it has significant implications for emissions, pollution, and fuel costs. In fact, nearly half of all Australian commuter trips are by car and cover less than 10km. Similarly, a staggering 60% of car trips in the United States are under 10km. But what if there was a better solution? Instead of switching to an electric vehicle for short trips, consider electric bikes or mopeds – they offer a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative.
Electric micromobility, which encompasses electric bikes and mopeds, is gaining popularity worldwide. These modes of transportation are not only cheaper to buy and operate compared to electric cars but are also displacing four times as much oil demand. This shift is predominantly due to their widespread adoption in China and other countries where mopeds are a common form of transport.
Last year, there were over 20 million electric vehicles and 1.3 million commercial EVs on the world’s roads. However, these numbers pale in comparison to the over 280 million electric mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and three-wheelers. Their sheer popularity has already reduced daily oil demand by about a million barrels, accounting for approximately 1% of the world’s total oil demand.
While electric vehicles have been touted as a green solution, they still have their drawbacks. EVs require a significant amount of electricity to power them, their batteries are heavy and rely on rare earth elements, and they still contribute to road congestion. In contrast, electric mopeds and bikes use significantly less energy to transport one or two individuals, making them an efficient and cost-effective option.
By embracing electric micromobility for short trips, we have the opportunity to redefine urban transportation and reduce our reliance on cars. Electric bikes and mopeds are gaining traction in Australia, with over 100,000 e-bikes sold last year alone. These modes of transport are particularly useful for short-hop trips, such as the school run or quick errands, where they can match or even surpass the speed of a car.
Furthermore, smaller electric options like scooters and skateboards solve the last-kilometer problem, bridging the gap between home and public transportation stations. Studies indicate that e-scooters produce up to 45% less carbon dioxide than alternatives, while US researchers estimate that if e-bike trips accounted for 11% of all vehicle trips, transport emissions would decrease by approximately 7%.
As petrol prices rise and battery costs decline, the lower operational expenses of electric vehicles and micromobility options will continue to reduce oil demand. It is predicted that global oil demand will reach its peak at 105.7 million barrels per day by 2028. Embracing electric micromobility is not only a practical choice for short trips but also a significant step towards a greener and more sustainable future.
What is electric micromobility?
Electric micromobility refers to modes of transportation such as electric bikes, mopeds, scooters, and skateboards that are powered by electricity. These vehicles are designed for short trips and provide a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional cars.
Why are electric mopeds and bikes gaining popularity?
Electric mopeds and bikes are becoming increasingly popular due to their lower cost of ownership and operation compared to electric cars. They also offer a more efficient way to travel short distances, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
How do electric mopeds and bikes contribute to reducing oil demand?
The widespread adoption of electric mopeds and bikes, particularly in countries like China, is significantly reducing oil demand. Estimates suggest that electric micromobility is displacing four times as much oil demand as all the world’s electric cars combined.
Are electric vehicles a greener option than electric mopeds and bikes?
While electric vehicles are cleaner than internal combustion engine cars, they still have their drawbacks. EVs require more electricity to power them, have heavy batteries that rely on rare earth elements, and contribute to road congestion. Electric mopeds and bikes, on the other hand, use less energy and offer a more practical solution for short trips.
– Bloomberg New Energy Finance: https://about.bnef.com/press-releases/electric-bikes-are-displacing-oil-demand-four-times-more-than-electric-cars/
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