I go everywhere in town by EV but I don’t own an electric car. here’s how

Spoiler alert: electric vehicles are the future and they are destined to replace fossil fuel cars. Unless you have your head firmly buried in the sand, this won’t shock you.

But credit where credit is due. We humans are quite a resourceful animal. We figured out how to build massive powered societies largely by drilling holes in the ground and then burning the super-pressurized prehistoric algae we found. It was a good trick, until we realized it had the small drawback of destroying the world we leave to our children. Whoops.

Now we are righting that wrong. Some embrace the change wholeheartedly, and others are dragged into the future, kicking and screaming. But make no mistake, this is the future and it’s coming.

But here’s the other little thing: while electric cars are undoubtedly the future and will represent the biggest change in the private transport sector as we move away from fossil fuel cars, they are not the only Solution.

But they are certainly touted as they are because a few people make a lot of money when you buy an electric car. However, there are other alternatives to shift your transportation to an electrified future away from fossil fuels, even without owning an electric car. That’s exactly what I did.

Every day, I travel around my city in an electric vehicle. In fact, I own several electric vehicles. They are simply not electric cars. This is a wide range of small personal electric vehicles.

Electric bikes. Electric motorcycles. Electric mopeds. Electric scooters. Electric skateboards. I own them all and use them all the time for my own personal transportation. Each cost me a mere fraction of a Tesla or the fancy electric car you hear about today. And each one lets me get around town faster, using less energy, for less money, and with a bigger smile on my face when I arrive. Well, except for the electric skateboard on that last note – this one is both fun and terrifying depending on the roads I skate on. So maybe one is part smile, part grimace in slow motion horror.

A high-utility e-bike like the RadExpand 5 can fold into the corner of an apartment.

I ranked e-bikes first because e-bikes make up the bulk of my urban commute.

If there was ever a real miracle pill that could solve the biggest problems of urban transport, it is this one. The humble e-bike is the answer.

Don’t like being stuck in traffic? Ride an electric bike.

Are the cars too expensive? Ride an electric bike.

There is never any parking? Ride an electric bike.

Don’t have time in your busy schedule for light exercise or physical activity? Ride an electric bike.

electric xp lite
Low-cost e-bikes like the $799 Lectric XP LITE make personal electric vehicles even more affordable.

Electric bikes are the miracle drug to solve the biggest annoyances of getting around town. I will never be able to smile that I can take the bike lane and fly over some poor jerk in a swearing BMW while he’s stuck in traffic.

Of course, e-bikes were all once quite expensive. But that era is over. Prices for good but affordable e-bikes keep getting better. One of my favorite e-bikes for commuting around town goes 25 mph and costs just $1,000. For the price of a Tesla, you could give an entire building full of people their own personal electric vehicle.

But even more than the cost savings and convenience of e-bikes, they also solve the long-term problems we don’t like to talk about.

While finding easy, free parking or using a cheat code to steer past morning rush hour traffic are the flashy perks of e-bikes, other big wins like not leaving your grandkids with a sleazy landscape. fiery hell of a planet are also pretty cool perks.

My $1,045 V2 Roadster doesn’t even look like an e-bike.

As I mentioned, I use all kinds of personal electric vehicles to get around my city. When I need to ride at higher speeds, I hop on my electric motorcycle or electric moped.

For utility, I can’t beat my NIU NQi GT Extended Range. It gets close to 50 mph (80 km/h), has a cargo box in the back and more room at my feet to carry larger items, and gets a range of around 60 miles (100 km) with a load. All for a fraction of the price of an electric car.

Oh yeah, and I love how my wife hugs me tight when she gets on my back.

As much as I love my electric bikes, my NIU is one of my favorite personal electric vehicles. It may sound silly, but this is the van of electric two-wheelers. Check it out in my driving video below.

For shorter trips when an e-moped or e-bike is more vehicle than I need (and I don’t want to lock an e-bike outside), I’ll ride a small folding e-scooter or a electric skateboard. Both can usually be introduced to many businesses or offices without anyone looking up.

I’ve even experimented with electric unicycles, which are actually incredibly practical as a complete commuter vehicle with the size and portability of a briefcase.

But overall, e-bikes are my favorite form of electric vehicle. And since it also happens to be National Bike to Work Day (look how well it worked out, almost like it was planned…), it might be a good time to think about how an e-bike might work for you too.

As Bird VP of Consumer Products Dan Dumansau explained via email to Electrek, “We think National Bike to Work Day should be every day! Every short car ride replaced by an eco-friendly bike contributes to cleaner air and safer streets for communities. »

I couldn’t agree with Dan more. I’ll be jumping on his Bird V-Frame e-bike soon for a review, but in the meantime I’ve reviewed hundreds of e-bikes and just about every one of them could be a great alternative to a car for move around a city. (although some may be a bit overkill for this task).

Ultimately, we are all collectively staring down the barrel of climate catastrophe. We are fair. And changing our transportation habits is one of the many ways we can make a significant contribution to not completely destroying our planet’s habitability.

But while electric cars are often touted as the flashy solution, sometimes going carless is an even better solution. Instead, smaller personal electric vehicles (or even non-electric pedal vehicles for those with the fitness for them) are the best fit for cities around the world.

There are also many other useful solutions that should not be overlooked. Improving public transport systems to reduce car dependency would be another big step in the right direction.

Even non-transport areas should be examined. Taking a closer look at how and where we produce our food and its effect on climate change would have another giant impact. Personally, I’ve just passed a year after switching to a mostly plant-based diet (I cheat with ice cream), and I’m proud to say that I’ve even avoided the common pitfall of telling the world smugly about it. . Oh wait shit.

Electric cars are good, but electric bikes are even better.

The fact is, there are plenty of steps we can all take, some small and some big, that can help us move toward a future with massively reduced human impact on climate change. But the flashy “switch to an electric car” advertisements don’t provide the panacea that many are hoping for.

Change starts small and starts locally. And when it comes to reducing the impact of our transportation needs, small and local are essentially synonymous with personal electric vehicles. They go together like sandals and granola hikers.

And whether it’s throwing your leg up on a budget e-bike or donning that sexy motorcycle helmet and jacket to commute to work on an EV that takes up just 20% of the space in your car. an electric van (and which only costs 10% of the bill to charge), there are so many fun and efficient alternatives that they tend to sell out.

Speaking of which, now we just need more state incentives to make them even more affordable. Although with awesome e-bikes available at literally every price point, there’s probably something out there for you already.

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Wiley C. Thompson