The Time for a Pedelec is Now


The attention the electric car receives as a promising means of sustainable transportation seems at times to overshadow the rise of another electric vehicle: the power assisted bicycle or pedelec. For those who don’t know yet: a pedelec is a bicycle assisted by an electric motor, powered by a rechargeable (lithium-ion) battery. The motor is intended to assist pedalling, not replace it. It is the newest evolution of the bicycle and its numbers are starting to grow.

The motor multiplies a persons muscle power, which assists you while riding. The assistance level can be increased or decrease by the rider, increasing the level of assistance decreases the range of the bike and decreasing the assistance, increases the range. When the person faces increased resistance by wind or hilly terrain the motor output can be adjusted to work harder to compensate for it. This allows the rider to determine the level of effort they what to put out despite the terrain or weather conditions.

People living in cities or rural areas with steep height differences will benefit from pedelecs, riding up hill using a pedelec requires only slightly more effort as riding on a regular street. Because of the increased average speeds, pedelecs allow riders to bridge longer distances. As a result studies have found pedelecs tend to get used more often, rather than left gathering cobwebs in the garage like many standard bicycles.

Combined with a cycle trailer, they can easily help tow the weekly groceries for a large family. Pedelecs do not simply replace regular bicycles, they will change the way bicycles are used and have a significant impact in the way people move around on two wheels.

Who Rides a


People who try Pedelecs quickly realize it allows them to ride more, mostly because it makes cycling easier and more comfortable. It requires about the same amount of effort whether riding on flat, hilly and even mountainous roads, windy or calm conditions, to cover longer distances and to carry heavier loads, all without sweating or getting exhausted.

The Commuter
People who want to ride to work and not show up with sweaty armpits and backs are the driving force behind the growing pedelec market. Urban transportation studies have shown that on trips of 10 kilometres or shorter a bicycle at rush hour can actually be a faster mode of transportation and a lot cheaper to operate. They are for people who want to move about an urban environment faster and with less effort.

Those Who Hate Climbing
There aren’t many people who like riding a bicycle uphill as much as downhill. It’s the reason why there are such things as shuttles and lifts at gravity parks. Imagine though being able to save energy on a climb by shifting your pedelec into climbing mode. Powering up the hill and never breaking a sweat.

The Slow Poke
Many a marriage has been strained by a couple trying to ride together. Inevitably one of the two is faster and ends up riding ahead while the other lags behind. For both, the frustration level climbs with each passing kilometre. Add a power assisted bicycle to the mix and the playing field is instantly levelled.

The Couch Potato
Technological progress, in industrialized societies, has lead to sedentary life styles. The consequences are lack of exercise, which leads to muscular degeneration and an increase in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Don’t think that you won’t get any exercise buzzing around on your pedelec. You’re repaid for pedalling with improved health and longer battery life. Plus, it feels great to pedal when it’s so easy, so most riders actually pedal a lot, about 3 times more than regular bicycle riders. And remember, low impact endurance exercise (30 to 45 minutes, three times a week) can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 50%.

The Environmentalist
Cars and trucks are responsible for 51% of global carbon dioxide emissions and about 1.7 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year. Pedelecs require only a small fraction of the energy required to operate a car. For example the total carbon emissions of a car with a gas engine are 39 times higher than those of a pedelec. The total fuel consumption per 100 km are 47 times higher for a car than for a pedelec. 50% of all car trips are less than 8 kilometres in length and at least half of those could be done on a pedelec in approximately the same amount of time. This small change in lifestyle could have a dramatic effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our environment and global warming.