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Why E-Bikes?

eBikes: The Future of Transportation

EBikes like Junto represent the beginning of a transportation revolution. In the United States, people waste almost 7 billion hours per year in traffic.[i] Gridlock is a source of stress, and Americans, particularly outside of major urban hubs, are hesitant to leave home without their cars. EBikes are an opportunity to make biking a viable option for transportation over longer distances and more difficult terrain. This cultural shift to see electric bikes as a primary method of transportation has benefits for individuals, the community, and the environment.

The personal benefits of eBikes range from saving time and money on commuting to improving physical health and reducing stress. More than 80% of respondents in a survey by the League of American Bicyclists agreed that electric bikes functionally replace cars, representing an opportunity for eBike owners to save time and money on commuting, parking, and everyday around-town driving.[ii] While this is possible on a standard bike, showing up to work or dinner sweating from a hard ride or lugging home groceries are major deterrents. EBikes allow cyclists to get these benefits without all the sweat—although 67% of cyclists said they needed a shower after a standard bike trip, 74% didn’t need a shower after using their eBike.[iii] By purchasing an eBike, commuters can get out of their cars and into the bike lane without having to bring a change of clothes or worry about squeezing a shower in when they get to the office.

And on an eBike, the savings are substantial—in 2014, the average commuter spent $960 in time and fuel sitting in traffic. Congestion forces travelers to allow 48 minutes to make a trip that would take 20 minutes in light traffic. [iv] At a consistent 25 miles an hour, eBikes skip the gridlock. In addition to saving hours on the commute, parking is free! With the detachable battery, Junto owners can park their bike anywhere and take the battery into the office to charge while they work. These savings on gas and parking are major motivators for consumers—34% of eBike buyers aim to cut their commuting costs.[v]

Cutting the commute also cuts out stress. Driving in stop-and-go traffic and gridlock is demanding and a stressful way to start and end the work day. By commuting on an eBike, people can arrive at work faster, without the stress of sitting in traffic, and pumped up from the ride. EBikes will help people decrease their dependency on their car and increase their physical fitness. The pedal assist settings on Junto eBikes allow them to serve a dual purpose. On level 5, commuters can zoom up hills fully dressed for work and arrive ready to go, but riders can also get in workout on their way by turning the pedal assist down or off. Regardless of what setting they’re on, eBikes have real fitness benefits. If 1% of trips under 10 miles were taken on an electric bicycle rather than in a car, 2.2 million Americans would lose between 25 and 50 pounds.[vi]

By not getting behind the wheel, eBike users get cars off the road. Congested streets and gridlock traffic are social issues as well as personal frustrations—and they’re getting worse year after year. 95% of America’s 100 largest metro areas saw increased congestion in from 2013 to 2014, and the costs are rising. By 2020, Americans will waste an estimated 8.3 billion hours in traffic—that’s an average of 47 hours per person! In addition to spending almost two days a year in traffic, people will face a $1,100 congestion “tax” in gas costs and wasted time.[vii] By using an eBike as their primary transportation and commuting vehicle, people not only increase their own savings, they reduce congestion costs for everyone who is on the road.

EBikes also break through some of the common barriers to developing a strong cycling culture and reducing dependency on cars. By making it easier to travel long distances or cycle through hilly areas, eBikes can get more people biking on a regular basis. In cities with good biking infrastructure like Madison and Washington, D.C., eBikes could create a biking culture similar to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where biking is the most common form of transportation. In other places, an increase in cyclists and a generation who sees biking as transportation in addition to recreation will push for the development of safe infrastructure.

Cities with strong cycling cultures see the civic benefits of less traffic and healthier residents, but eBike usage could also have national environmental benefits. The billions of hours Americans are wasting in traffic are accompanied by billions of gallons of gasoline. Although hybrids are becoming more popular, their fuel usage is tragically high relative to bicycles, airplanes, and trains. A commuter electric bike like a Junto can go around 570 miles on the equivalent of a gallon of gas, leaving the Prius’s 50 mpg miles behind, especially since cars’ mileage is reduced in congestion. Companies like Tesla and Volvo are pushing for electric cars to be the transportation of the future, but these vehicles only get around 114 mpg, and their drivers are still stuck in traffic.[viii]

In Copenhagen, cycling culture prevents 90,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.[ix] In the U.S., increasing the percentage of bicycle and pedestrian trips from 12% to 15% would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 million tons.[x] And reducing gas usage is only the beginning of the environmental impacts of increased cycling. Parking lots cover 160 million square feet of America, invading local ecosystems and requiring energy to build, repair, and maintain.[xi] Getting cars off the road isn’t just good for us; it’s good for the planet.

55% of car trips taken in the United States are under 10 miles.[xii] On an eBike, these trips are quicker and less stressful. Electric bikes improve physical fitness, decrease traffic on the road, and save money. Reducing congestion has widespread personal, civic, and environmental benefits, and electric bikes offer a way to do this that is economical for consumers and society. EBikes are the beginning of a new era of transportation that is faster, fitter, and more fun.