Ebike has lower carbon emission than a regular bike? What?



At least that’s the kind of reaction most people will make when they see a study comparing carbon emissions by various types of transportation.

I’ve heard the article version of the study some months ago in Electrek.co (I forgot the link), so it’s not very surprising when I saw this video:

Adding an electric motor and the battery will undeniably make an e-bike more carbon-intensive to produce. But within a short period, the two-wheeler can pay it back many times.

Besides, the typical e-bike battery production doesn’t generate that much carbon dioxide. It’s relatively little.

How little?

40 kilograms!

To put it into perspective:

  • That’s 500x to produce a cup of tea
  • Or a steak

What’s caught my attention is the carbon emission per kilometer per person. Ebike is only about 2 grams. It’s not even listed in this graph:

So, how about a regular bike?

One estimate based on the average European diet puts a regular bicycle between Eurostar to Ferry, about 4 to 10 grams per person per kilometer.

Still very good, but not as good as e-bikes.

I skimmed a lot of details here, you can watch the video above for more, but if the entire thing can be summed up into a sentence:

Electricity is more efficient than human flesh.