The first common bicycle was invented in Germany in the early 1800s. In the late 1800s, automobiles were being manufactured, and by the early 1900s Detroit was nicknamed the “Motor City” for putting the world on wheels—that is to say, Henry Ford created the first mass-produced car for the American everyman. Since those early days of the car, America has had a fascination with motor vehicles. It should come as no surprise, then, that as innovation in the cycling industry has given us the electric bike more people are beginning to choose a bike instead of a car for their transportation needs.
When it comes to bike vs. car, it is important to note that both electric bikes and cars are good choices for commuting transportation. However, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both of these modes of transportation. Looking at cars vs. bikes, it is imperative to conduct a thorough comparison between the two so that you can make the best decision to fit your lifestyle. For commuting, one of these options will surely work better for you. Many people would be surprised to learn that bikes instead of cars are actually preferable. Let's break down the pros and cons of riding e-bikes, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of driving cars so that you can make the correct choice, bike vs. car.
Pros and Cons of Riding E-Bikes
Despite a rapidly-growing trend of electric bike popularity that has swept through the United States over the last several years, many people remain unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of e-bikes. Let’s take a look at both so that you can make the best possible decision between bike vs. car.
Pros of E-Bikes
If you are looking for a reason to transition to an electric bike instead of a car, keep these advantages in mind while doing your e-bike shopping:
- Cost of Ownership– First and foremost, when it comes to bike vs. car, electric bikes are far more affordable and cheaper to operate than cars. In fact, one study found that the cost of buying and using a used car for commuting purposes will cost you more than $22,000 over four years. Over that same period, the cost of owning and operating an electric bike for commuting will only cost you less than $4,000. When comparing the costs of ownership between cars and bikes, the realities are not even close. Ultimately, electric bikes are far cheaper to own than cars.
- Healthy Lifestyle– While driving a car does not actually help you improve your health, riding an electric bike certainly does. In fact, the health benefits of e-bikes have been thoroughly documented. Cycling helps people improve their heart health, lower their stress, boost their immunity, and even help them lose weight.
- Environmentally Friendly Choice– Gasoline engines release enormous amounts of poisonous emissions into the atmosphere, causing potentially dangerous effects on the planet. However, the electric motors on electric bikes are both clean and quiet, so you can protect the environment while getting everywhere you need to go.
- Easier Commute– Cars are big. They get backlogged in traffic. They are difficult to park. E-bikes, on the other hand, offer easy commutes and even easier parking. It’s a win-win situation.
Cons of E-Bikes
While e-bikes have numerous benefits, there are certain cons that you should be aware of if you are thinking about choosing a bike instead of a car, including:
- Riding Distance– While electric bikes are far more conducive to longer commutes compared with traditional bikes, because of the electric motors, there is no doubting that for long commutes—such as from the suburbs into a city—cars may be a better transportation option.
- Carrying Capacity– Electric bikes come equipped with certain capacities to add bags to increase the ability to carry items with you on a commute, but it is undisputed that cars have far greater space for carrying items with you.
Pros and Cons of Driving Cars
If you are one of the growing number of people across the country and world who are beginning to rethink the convenience and purpose of commuting by car, it is important to reflect on the pros and cons of driving cars and then compare them to bikes, if you are considering riding a bike instead of a car.
Pros of Cars
The pros of cars for commuting to and from work include:
- Driving Distance– If you need to commute a long way, which many people do daily, then driving a car instead of a bike might be the better option for you.
- Less Weather Impact– While snowstorms can impact anyone’s commute regardless of the mode of transportation, rain and wind have far less impact on cars commuting than on bikes.
- Greater Room– Need to carry a lot of things for work? A car is a great option with plenty of space.
Cons of Cars
Despite the advantages of cars for commuting, there are certainly also disadvantages, which include:
- Environmental Harm– While not true of electric vehicles, which are still a small minority in the market, traditional combustible gas engines emit gases into the atmosphere that are potentially dangerous for the environment.
- Cost of Ownership– As previously mentioned, cars vs. bikes can cost thousands of dollars more to own and operate.
- Traffic and Parking– Perhaps the worst aspect of commuting in a car, fighting through traffic jams and struggling to find parking can be extremely frustrating.
Ultimately, you need to make the choice, bike vs. car, that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. But it is always important to keep in mind the pros and cons between car vs. bike so that you are making the most informed decision possible. If you are considering choosing a bike instead of a car for your commute, it is likely because you want to save money, live healthier, have a smoother commute, and have an environmentally friendly impact. If you need to drive a long distance to work or if you require more carrying capacity, then perhaps a car is a better option. However, once you have all the facts, you should be able to make the best decision for your lifestyle.