Electric bikes are covered by the Cycle to Work scheme so if you want to participate in the great savings and benefits without some of the physical exercise, then this may be the answer for you.
The Cycle to Work scheme is a government initiative to encourage people to use their bikes, rather than their cars to get to and from their work place.
A rare win win situation, the scheme means that you save money on buying the bike, save money on car running costs, get fitter and help save the environment.
Many people like the idea of saving money and the environment, but feel trepidation about the physical exercise involved in cycling to work.
The good news for these people is that electric bikes are covered under the Cycle to Work scheme.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike differs from a normal bicycle because it has an electric motor and a battery.
It will also have functional pedals and gears that you can use to help it propel up hills or save the battery if you feel like a bit of exercise.
The motor is designed to assist your pedalling efforts, rather than act like an electric motorbike.
Research has shown that for personal travel between 5 and 30 miles per day, the electric bicycle offers the lowest environmental and personal monetary cost, usually without increasing urban travel time.
Commuters in hilly areas will appreciate the help of the electric motor, which also makes travelling in strong head winds less difficult too.
An important factor for people commuting to work on an electric bike is that less effort is required so you don’t arrive at your workplace in a sweaty state, although an increasing number of employers are installing showers.
Electric bikes are designed for commuters and come with mud guards and rear luggage racks for the briefcase or other bags.
How much are electric bikes?
Electric bikes are surprisingly affordable, considering that the electric motor and battery are costly items.
Price depends on the quality of components, however Evans Cycles sell a Powabyke 6 speed electric road bike for £630.99.
If you fancy more gears, then you can buy a 24 gear Powabyke X-24 electric bike for £929.99.
As these are a significant investment, it is important to have good insurance. The Cycleguard bike insurance scheme covers electric bikes.
Travelling range of electric bikes
The range that can be travelled between recharges of the battery does depend on the speed, terrain and wind conditions that the bike has encountered.
Range also depends on the amount of effort that you have provided too. In general, you can expect your electric bike to travel between 30 – 50 miles between charges.
The quality of the battery is important with Lithium Manganese construction providing the best performance and longevity. Panasonic batteries using this technology come with two year warranties, whereas as some cheaper makes are only supplied with six month warranties.
Electric bikes are a good choice
Although electric bikes cost around £250 more than a comparable standard commuter bike, they are a good choice for the commuter.
You receive the same cost benefits of the Cycle to Work Scheme and enjoy the same reduced car running costs with an electric bike as you do with a standard bicycle.
You can also do some exercise on the electric bike without having to jump into the shower as soon as you arrive at work, and can probably carry more luggage than you can on a normal bicycle.