As electric cars get more and more popular, environmentalists are hailing the change, welcoming it with open arms. And yes, electric cars are great. They are a lot better than normal cars when it comes to pollution.
However, they are not a perfect solution, and there are still a lot of problems; problems that can be solved with a simple bicycle.
I want to make this inescapably clear; we are not saying electric cars are bad. We’re just saying bicycles are better. And I’m going to tell you why.
Let’s start strong, by seeing where bicycles and electric cars compare in terms of money. One of the biggest benefits that a bicycle has over the average gas powered car is that it saves the rider a lot of money on licencing fees, gas, repair costs and other related costs.
But then again, an electric car is also cheaper than a gas car, right?
Well, yes and no. You save a significant amount of money on fuel costs, however you still have to pay to charge your car; electricity isn’t free after all.
It will cost around $540 per year to keep the average electric car charged, as opposed to how much you spend on gas in a year (which can get pretty ridiculous).
That being said, bicycles have no fuel costs associated with them; even electric bikes barely cost anything to keep running smoothly.
Next up is the cost of the actual car itself. Electric cars are actually more expensive than their gas powered counterparts. Getting one can be a costly investment. And then there’s bikes. The average cost of a bicycle is a measly £233.
That amount doesn’t even touch how much you’d spend in a year on gas, and it’s still a lot less than what you’d spend on fueling your electric car.
But that’s not all. There’s the cost of repairs to be considered right? The average hourly cost for labour for a car is £91.99, plus you have to pay for parts and other services. For a bike, many of the most common repairs can easily cost under £60.
If you’re looking for a good cost-efficient alternative to your gas guzzler, the bike wins over the electric car, no problem.
Anti-car enthusiasts often make the joke that in a world with all electric cars and a world with all gas cars, the traffic would look exactly the same.
Bicycles are, once again, the clear victor here.
Think about it. Electric or not, a car is still a car and cars take up a lot of space. It’s kind of their thing. Lots of cars means there’s that much more of a burden put on traffic.
Bicycles are small and efficient. They don’t cause a burden on traffic, especially if they have their own dedicated bike lanes.
In fact, more bicycles on the road means that your time stuck in traffic is actually drastically reduced. In New York City, when bike lanes were introduced on one street, it reduced travel times by up to 14%.
Despite much resistance from motorists, more cyclists are actually one of the best solutions to traffic congestion in the city. Unfortunately, no matter how cool your Tesla is, it’s not making traffic less of a pain in the ass. Bikes are.
Do you hate looking for a parking space? Do you hate getting stuck in the furthest end of the parking lot, meaning that you have to make a 5 minute trek through the jungle of parked cars just to reach the store, only to make the same arduous journey back, this time with the items you bought in tow?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could park near the entrance? You know, some place convenient. Like where the bike racks are located. That would be great.
In all seriousness, it may not sound like a big deal, but if you drive in the city you’ll know how hard it is to find a good parking space. But bike racks are small, they don’t take up a lot of room. A set of bike racks can handle way more bikes than the whole parking lot can handle cars, in just a fraction of the space.
It’s baffling. After all, you could fit 6 bikes in the space 1 car takes up, without making them touch each other.
This is also a really good thing for businesses for multiple reasons; first, if more people use bikes over cars, it saves the company a lot of space investing in a giant parking lot. That space can be used for all sorts of things.
Second, the business can accommodate way more customers, using less space. So far when it comes to this battle between bikes and electric cars, bikes are winning 3 for 3.
You don’t need a license to get a bike. You don’t need to get a loan or pay for your bike in installments. You don’t need to insure your bike. It is so much easier to get a bicycle than it is to get any kind of car, and that goes double for electric cars, which are still newer, rarer, and more expensive.
Here’s what you need to get your hands on an electric car:
First, you need to get a driver’s license. Once you have that, you have to get the money together to purchase the car. You need to research the different cars available to you, and possibly go out and test drive them. You need to fill out all kinds of paperwork to make the car yours, and it can take a long time.
Not to mention you can’t exactly go “off-roading” through forests and down mountains in an electric car. I mean, you technically could, but it would be a very poor decision.
When it comes to a bicycle, you just go into the shop, pick out the one you like, spend a reasonable amount of money, and ride your new bike home.
Bike: 4, electric car: 0
This one is another huge deal. The safety of a vehicle can make or break it in the eyes of many consumers. Safety is so key, because you are trusting your life to this giant machine (or small two-wheeled bike). You need to be sure that it’s not only going to do the job, but do the job well.
When it comes to this point, many people would immediately think “the electric car definitely wins this one.” But don’t jump the gun just yet.
Yes, electric cars have a lot of safety features. But that doesn’t change one staggering fact; car accidents are among the top 10 leading causes of deaths in the world. The World Health Organization has it ranked at #9.
On the other hand, the number of cyclists killed every single year doesn’t even touch the amount of motorists killed.
Statistically speaking, riding a bicycle is many times safer than driving a car; as we’ve said in other stories, the biggest threat to cyclists are motorists.
Not only are there far fewer cyclists killed than motorists, but the number of cyclists killed or fatally injured decreases drastically in areas that purposely strive to reduce car use among the public, or in bicycle cities.
Meaning that even less cyclists will die in horrible accidents when there are less motorists.
And it’s pretty easy to see why. What’s the worst that can happen if two bikes slam into each other? A couple of broken bones? Generally even bad bicycle crashes are relatively low risk. However, even a seemingly small car crash can result in permanent injury or even death.
When it comes to your life, bicycles are guaranteed to be safer for you (assuming you wear a helmet. And seriously, wear a helmet people) and everyone around you. I think the bicycle wins yet again.
This one’s a no-brainer. Bicycles win right off the bat, case closed. However, as obvious as it us, let’s run through the comparison anyways.
For starters, when you drive an electric car, you’re sitting relatively still in a comfortable chair for the duration of your travels. When you ride a bike, you’re getting all kinds of physical exercise. And physical exercise, particularly exercises like bike riding, have many known and proven benefits.
It firstly improves your over-all health and helps you maintain a healthy body and work off extra weight you might have.
Secondly, exercise helps with your mental health. Among the many benefits of exercise is that it increases the dopamine in your brain, which can help combat things like depression, and overcome motivational problems (especially helpful, since a lack of motivation is one of the worst symptoms of depression).
Exercise is also very helpful when it comes to reducing stress. Stress does horrible things to your body. It can give you anxiety, it can lead to depression, it can make you moody, and it can make you more susceptible to getting sick.
Being stressed out can give you a heart attack or expose you to all kinds of other physical problems. Extreme stress often leads to things like violent outbursts or panic attacks. So you do not want to be taking on any more stress than is essential.
Studies have shown that driving in traffic is as stressful as jumping out of an airplane.
Driving, especially in traffic, has been linked to increased stress and rage, lower patience and all sorts of other negative things that impact your health and happiness.
As someone who’s on the tail end of a road trip from Ontario Canada to South Carolina USA, I can personally say this is 100% accurate (20 hours in a car will make you want to do awful things to your fellow human beings).
An electric car doesn’t solve any of these problems either. The only way out is to avoid using a car unless you absolutely need to. It’s a good thing bicycles exist.
Now, if you’re trying to get from Toronto to Myrtle Beach, a bicycle would definitely be fun, but I can see why you would prefer a car. At least you can listen to music and sleep in the back seat while the driver curses out everyone who had the audacity to use the I-79 S that day.
However, in your home town or city, you might be surprised to know that a bicycle is actually a much more efficient ride.
A bicycle can almost always match the speed of city traffic. On top of that, many cities have proven that a bike is actually faster than a car when it comes to getting around.
Cars may be faster over all, but that really doesn’t matter when traffic is practically bumper to bumper. In a city setting, bicycles are a much more efficient way of getting to your destination.
But what if you’re going shopping? You need a car right? After all, you’ve got things to carry, so you need that trunk space, don’t you?
Nope. There’s a neat little thing called a “cargo bike” that can be used to store and move things. Cargo bikes are very popular for families because they can be used to make grocery runs.
Some companies even use cargo bikes to make deliveries or help you move.
Once again, the bike wins! Though as an aside, an electric car makes a great choice when you’re going on a long road trip.
One of the biggest selling points for electric cars is that they are environmentally better than traditional automobiles. It’s right up in the top 4 reasons why people choose them, next to “because they look cool”, “the technology is incredible”, and “you don’t have to pay for gas”.
While it’s true that electric cars are, environmentally speaking, much better than traditional ones, there’s still a much better option.
You see, when it comes to electric cars, their environmental impact is heavily dependent on the source of the electricity that charges the car. In other words, in places that don’t use clean energy, electric cars are responsible for similar amounts of CO2 to regular cars.
You know what uses almost no CO2? That’s right, bicycles! Bikes use a very small amount of CO2, according to a study by the European Cyclists Federation when compared to regular cars.
In terms of the environment, bicycles are the much greener choice.
In all 8 of our points, bikes win over electric cars. So just remember, electric cars are a good choice, but bikes are still the best option out there.