Electric bikes – the future is here and now

The trend has already overflown many European cities and countries, and is increasingly growing also in Slovenia. What is its essence?

Wheels with auxiliary electric motor have been known for many years, but they have gained momentum with the advent of electric cars and thus greater visibility and interest in the public. This fact is of great help to technical progress with more powerful batteries, smaller electric motors and increasing reliability of the technology. As a result, the bikes with an auxiliary electric motor also approached ordinary users and not just those with technical knowledge. However, beware – electric bikes are not electrically powered mopeds, where you drive along the road by tightening the lever. The pedal still needs to be rotated, an electric motor in the bike only helps us to overcome many of the slopes or distance. Abroad, the term “pedelec” has been applied to electric bikes, which describes in a descriptive way that even with such bike, it is still necessary to press the pedals. And it may be time for us to accept similarly in Slovenia, if not even the same name for bikes with auxiliary electric motor.

The basic and most recognisable feature of electric bikes is that it still needs to turn the pedal, but with much less power and effort than with the conventional wheel. It is still most felt on the hills; the low pressure on the pedal triggers the operation of an electric motor that, without much effort, pushes us up on the slope, which would be difficult for the ordinary bike to do. In other words, even steep slopes are turned into a plane on an electric bike and are accessible to a wider circle of riders.

Traditional cyclists will certainly note that “cycling is healthy and beneficial to our body!” This is of course true, but let’s keep in mind the fact that not all riders are just because of the acquisition of fitness. In major cities, even in Slovenia, the bike is increasingly becoming the main mean of transport. We drive to work and run errands. At the same time, we are opening new possibilities for development in the field of improving the cycling infrastructure both in public areas and in companies. Cyclist friendly companies arrange covered cycling stations and also showers if cyclists come sweaty to work. The auxiliary electric motor on the bike will make the journey to work and home a very pleasant and without much effort.

Written by: Andrej Zalokar,  regional e-mobility manager for biking within LENA project