Electric bicycles or e-bikes are an incredible alternative to driving, perfect for short distances.
The use of e-bikes are prevalent in Europe, and there’s a chance that more countries will be adopting this method of transportation very soon.
If this is your first time hearing about e-bikes, you’ve come to the right place! Scroll down to learn more about e-bikes.
Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are bicycles with a pedal-powered battery “assist” and, occasionally, a throttle. On a pedal-assist e-bike, a little motor activates when you press the pedals, giving you a boost so you can glide over challenging terrain and climb hills without using up too much energy.
Any form of riding can be done on an e-bike. If electric road bikes are not your thing, you might prefer a high-capacity e-cargo bike that can carry 400 pounds of cargo while travelling at a leisurely 15 mph. Some examples of e-bikes are fat, cargo, commuter, recreational, hardtail, full-suspension mountain, and even performance road bike models.
1. No license required
According to Malaysian law, an electronic bicycle with the following specifications is considered a bicycle:
- has working pedals
- is limited to 25 kph
- has 250 watts of electricity (or less)
This means that you don’t need a license or pay tax to ride an e-bike!
While it is lawful to ride an electric bicycle anywhere that regular bicycles are allowed, each state is in charge of the regulations governing the use and operation of electric bicycles. Please check with your local state government or local authorities as state laws differ from state to state.
2. Faster than regular bikes
Travel long distances with minimal effort thanks to its battery-assist technology! The bikes have evolved over the years and now almost resemble a normal bike frame, with just the subtle ‘hum’ giving them away.
Petrol and diesel can be costly, and sporadic price increases can have a significant impact on your finances. E-bike batteries are more affordable and can last you 18 to 50 miles after a full charge.
E-bikes produce less pollution per mile than vehicles and motorbikes do. E-bikes consume energy at a rate of 100 to 150 watts on average as opposed to a car’s approximate 15,000. This can help improve air quality!
5. Improves health
Researchers from Colorado University discovered that after just one month of weekly e-biking for roughly 40 minutes, 20 inactive men and women saw improvements in their blood sugar and cardiovascular health. Even though riding an e-bike requires pedal assistance, it still counts as exercise and is beneficial for your physical and emotional well-being.
E-bike usage in Europe is prevalent for several reasons. A YouGov poll of over 15,500 people across 12 European countries has found that the cost of living is now seen to be the main driver of e-bike use.
Shimano’s annual State of the Nation report found that 47 per cent of people see living costs as the primary motivating factor for e-bike use. The second most common answer was purchase subsidies (41%).
In the UK, 56% of respondents found that living expenses are their top motivation for purchasing an e-bike. 60% of respondents mentioned subsidies in France, where trade-ins of cars for e-bikes are eligible for payments of up to €4,000.
While Scotland has provided a few financial incentives, the rest of the UK has recently offered few e-bike subsidies. Halfords is one of the companies that has advocated for discounts like those being offered in France.
According to the Shimano survey, 31% of Europeans believe that increased cycling infrastructure would persuade people to purchase or use e-bikes. Few people, however, believe they have experienced improvements; 45% disagree that infrastructure has gotten better, and another 17% are unsure.
The use of bicycles, including trishaws, is still legal on public roads, according to the Ministry of Transportation, but users are still required to abide by all regulations under the Land Transport Act of 1987 and the Road Traffic Rules of 1959.
This also applies to eBikes, which are legal to be driven on public roads provided they adhere to Malaysia Standard MS2514: Electric Bicycles (Electric Pedal Assisted Bicycles) Specification.
The Ministry of Transportation has also identified some potential areas for improvement. To ensure there is no traffic merging with other types of vehicles, the government should provide public transportation services as well as road infrastructure to support micro-mobility cars.
To control the use of these devices and the service providers who provide them, the necessary authorities should develop micromobility usage guidelines and rules. It also emphasised the necessity of creating active mobility planning guidelines that will serve as a guide for all agencies.
Last but not least, advocacy and awareness initiatives are needed to encourage the safe use of micromobility vehicles.
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