Sara Wainer, who manages business priorities and communications for the USA market at Specialized Bicycle Components, discusses the importance of zero-emissions vehicles and the future of e-bike transportation.
Executive Assistant (USA), Specialized Bicycle Components
What does the future of transportation look like in the coming years?
We know that gas-powered cars are already being phased out, so we’ll be seeing a lot more EVs on the road. People aren’t going to give up cars completely, but the growing popularity of e-bikes indicates they’ll be less reliant on them to get around. Think of it as “car-light” instead of “car-free.” It will be increasingly common to see things like families opting for an e-bike instead of a second car to get the kids to school and pick up groceries. Hopefully, more and more people will see that biking is a viable and fun option for getting around town.
Why is it crucial now more than ever to advance the adoption of more zero-emissions vehicles?
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical for our health, the economy, and our planet. We’re already seeing how costly climate change is, and we can’t afford to let it get worse. The scientific data is out there: we need to cut emissions nearly in half by 2030 to limit the effects of global warming. With EVs, we don’t have to sacrifice our mobility to achieve that goal, especially if we have access to clean or renewable sources of energy to charge them.
Can you quickly discuss and debunk one or two myths surrounding e-bikes for our readers?
One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that pedal assist e-bikes can go pretty far on a single charge. Specialized Turbo Active e-bikes have an average range of 90 miles, and our SL (super light) models can take you even farther, with a range of 120 miles on a single charge.
When you look at miles-to-energy ratios, the e-bike is the most efficient motor-included mode of transportation on the planet. Even when compared to electric cars, you can travel many more miles per battery cell on an e-bike. Ninety percent of the energy used in an electric car is used to move the car, not the people inside of it!
Another myth is that e-bikes don’t provide any fitness benefits. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! You still get a workout riding a pedal assist bike. You can achieve the same peak heart rate that you would on an analog bike, but you get there by going faster and farther in a shorter amount of time.
What smart mobility solutions do you think are most urgent in helping to support a green recovery in our cities and communities?
Obviously for us cyclists, safe bike infrastructure is top of mind. If all trips that are 5 miles long or less moved from four wheels to two, we’d greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bike-friendly roads will help us get there.
However, just as important, if not more so, is equitable access to efficient public transportation. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that not everyone can or wants to ride a bike to get around. People need to be able to safely move about in whatever way is best for them, and our cities need to invest in the proper infrastructure to support them.