How bad are electric bikes for the environment?

Electric bikes are a green and energy-efficient option for transportation, with a carbon intensity of only 2.2g of CO2 per passenger kilometer
March 24, 2024

What is the environmental impact of building an e-bike? When people ride an e-bike, what are they no longer doing? Is an e-bike worse for the planet than a regular bike? In this video I talk industry experts and consult the academic literature on the net impact of electric bikes. The result may surprise you!

Text above is from original video description.

Electric bikes have a carbon intensity of 2.2g of CO2 per passenger kilometer, making them a low carbon and energy efficient mode of transportation.

While the production of electric bikes, particularly the battery, has environmental impacts such as the use of rare earth minerals and lithium, the carbon cost of building an ebike is offset by its lower emissions of use per kilometer compared to a regular bike.

Battery recycling is improving, with 50% of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries reaching recycling facilities in 2018, and policies such as the EU’s new batteries regulation will increase this percentage.

As the necessary extraction of raw materials for battery production decreases, the environmental impact of electric bikes will become negligible, making them a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional transport modalities.

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