Faster than a Car mate!
Faster than a Car mate! Better than a Car too!
Cycling is fast becoming more main stream with a multitude of benefits. But with an electric bike / bicycle (aka eBike / e-bike) it is amazing how many benefits there are. Let’s review some of them from my own experience:
They really can be ‘Faster than a Car mate.’ Riding an eZee Sprint GTS out of Cairns on Friday arvo after work as everyone is exiting the city I was home in my driveway in just 12 minutes! If I had been driving a car at that time of day I would have been liable for about 20 min +. How you ask? Let me show you how it really works:
An eZee Sprint GTS runs under the Australian Specs for a 200 watt motor and in doing so has no speed limit. eZee responded by simply making a very high quality motor with good torque that will give you assistance up to 40-42km/h before she spins out. Under load on the flat carrying my weight of 85-90kg on a full charge the eZee Sprint GTS / eZee Sprint / eZee Sprint 3 / eZee Torq will carry me at a steady 37km/h on the throttle. Add some pedalling and you can keep her steady at 39-40km/h and get a reasonable workout.
Riding in the bike lane with the traffic down the main Mulgrave Road, I waited at my first set of lights (Severin Street). Later while I was just coming to Aumuller Street the lights changed and being a legal pedestrian I decided not to wait and made a left down Aumuller Street. Keeping my cadence at 39-40km/h in top gear I can frequently when needed take a spot in the car lane because I am as fast as them. Blowing through the first two roundabouts I came to the new Cycle express way down Spence street and blew through to Lyons street. Seeing no cars I proceeded across Lyons street pedalling with a will and popped out at Racecoarse. Under the new intersect bridge, past Macca’s, up Anderson Road and into my driveway. 12 minutes; Now that’s Faster than a Car mate!
Since then I have repeatedly found that even on slower eBikes such as a SmartMotion e20 (which still holds an easy 29km/h) similar trips take under 15 minutes. Every time I find myself asking: “Why does anyone within this range drive a car?!?” On top of the drive time alone, you should include the time it takes to get to your car and preparing to drive. For car drivers driving a similar trip to mine, they are looking at realistically 30 minutes to commute home – and then they drive to the gym and spend the next half an hour exercising! The mind boggles at the logic.
No parking (or fines), No speeding tickets, No registration, No Licence, No Insurance, no fuel / petrol, no servicing and the really big one that no one thinks about: no depreciation.
I ride right to the door of my shop / workplace and perform the reverse home combining both my commute time with exercise to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
On a bicycle a normal person might think about a 10km return trip on a bicycle, but with an eBike, I think nothing of making 30km return trips – now that is a real car replacement and frequently faster than a car mate!
Cost – We really did save $16,000 per year
One day I said to my wife after coming home from a day driving courier trucks: “I calculate that I have spent these two years in hard labour manually loading and unloading my truck box by box up to eight ton, over regular 10-14 hour days to effectively pay for the cars. A luxury shouldn’t cost us that much. I have gone to work not for my benefit, but to pay for the cars and things need to change. What’s more we can barely afford to use them after paying so much.”
$55,000 7 seater car + $25,000 depreciated (straight line) over 10 years (as anything you get after that is just a bonus) = $8,000 pa
Registration + Insurance = $3,000 pa
2x Servicing = $2,500
Fuel @ $50 per week total (at $1.60/L and 8km/L average economy it wasn’t even enough for a trip in and out of town every day [20km round trip] let alone a family outing) = $2,600
There went our $16,000.00
Can you imagine if I had to pay financing on that as well?
The cost solution
So after much discussion we took the leap and sold the cars. Paid down the mortgage and bought nice bikes. I bought a van Andel Azor Bakfiets (Bakfiets is Dutch for ‘Box Bike’) Long and then a Nihola for my wife; not to forget a nice set of new bikes for the children. The cost of getting such an electric kit out here in far north Queensland was not cheap, and we effectively sold one of the cars to pay for the bikes. But for anyone going carless, you must plan for a cargo bike.
Effectively we didn’t save much the first year primarily from the way we perceive depreciation expenses. But after two years the bank account shows it a little, come to five and six years and the effects of vehicle replacement will be really evident!
Now we don’t have this constant vehicle cash drain, there is more money for lifestyle choices and investment options – like starting this business.
Car vs eBike – one way (10km) trip into town cost comparison
(energy at about 1c / km) + (10 year depreciation as daily amount) + (servicing + battery depreciation at total energy costs x 5)= $0.60
$40,000 car (don’t forget to include your finance costs):
(($1.60L fuel / (10L/100)) * 10km) + (10 year depreciation as daily amount) + $1,500 servicing + $750 Rego + $750 Insurance = $1.60 + $10.96 + $4.11 + $4.11 = $20.78
I think the data speaks for itself with a 35:1 ratio of cost!
Health and Lifestyle
The first thing that comes to my wife and I is that we no longer feel guilty about what we eat! Chocolate, Ice Cream, Vanilla Slice, Thick Shakes, Pastry – you name it we eat it and know that we are burning it off!
Electric bikes if used properly actually give an exceptional cardio vascular exercise. The rider tends to keep a steady amount of energy going into the bike while resistance such as hills, wind and re acceleration from stops are borne by the electrics.
The increased road confidence, range and cargo abilities strongly encourages users which leads to significantly increased use. So much so that Monash University Institute of Transport Studies research fellow Marilyn Johnson claims that the data shows 88% of eBike buyers used their bike weekly with 48% using their electric bicycle daily. Now these are people who did not ride regularly as an adult before. An electric bicycle will help you get out and move and enjoy life which will bring many health and lifestyle benefits.
The UK just invested a further 215 million pound on top of a pervious investment of 352 million pound to save them 17 billion pound by 2020. Why? The health & lifestyle benefits are clear (as well as the $4 to $1 return on their investment).
I am sure that I could write much more about my observations and experiences but I hope this helps you in your decision and come see us at Cairns Electric Bikes. An electric bike will make you happier, healthier and wealthier!