Four reasons for businesses to embrace e-bikes

November 2, 2017

Kimberly Kinchen, business network writer


(Image: Small Planet E-Bikes)

When it comes to personal transportation, e-bikes are a big part of the buzz around mobility. The rise in e-bike sales suggests they are here to stay. But just as individuals can reap the rewards, there’s also a business case to be made for supplementing motor pools with e-bikes.

E-bikes are cheap machines

There is no contest here: even at the highest end, e-bikes cost considerably less to buy, operate, maintain and replace than almost any motor vehicle. “You can get some of your people to accomplish the same type of transportation trips for only twenty percent of the cost for a full-size vehicle,” says Sherri O’Hara, Sales Director at Small Planet Bikes in Longmont, Colorado. E-bikes don’t have to replace an entire motor pool to yield big savings. When the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada bought 25 e-bikes in 2011 it estimated $100,000 in annual savings from employees using fewer cars for work travel in a three-mile radius around downtown Las Vegas.


(Image: Small Planet E-Bikes)

E-bikes are fast machines

If time is money, then e-bikes’ maneuverability in tight spaces that larger vehicles cannot easily negotiate put the bikes at a distinct advantage. Have a lot of short delivery trips or cross-town meetings? E-bikes can slip through gridlock and eliminate the search for parking. They can also make sprawling corporate campuses more navigable, which may be why Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley firms include e-bikes in their fleets.

E-bikes are healthy machines

Shifting a robust percentage of commute trips to biking could lower a firm’s health insurance costs and could boost productivity by reducing the number of sick days that staff take. E-bikes could make that shift easier and introducing staff to e-bikes could encourage more bike commute trips. A recent study found that when Kaiser Permanente made e-bikes available to staff, people who already biked did so more often, and it prompted those who didn’t previously bike regularly to ride much more as well.  

E-bikes are green machines

We may be entering an era when a commitment to sustainability is a requirement for running a business, whether to reduce carbon footprint, control operational costs, or to woo customers. Relying on e-bikes for local transportation needs can mark a business as forward-thinking and a good corporate citizen. O’Hara points out that reducing car-based trips can earn businesses points toward LEED certification for operations and maintenance. Substituting e-bikes for some part of a motor pool is an inexpensive way to earn those points.

For more information and resources about electric bicycles, visit our e-bikes page.

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