Combating Climate Change One E-Bike At A Time… Or Are We?

November 11, 2022
Written By:
Written By:
November 11, 2022

Raise your hand if the incoming and terrifying climate crisis haunts you in your dreams and fills your waking moments with thoughts of doom! … No? Well, it should. – Nah, just kidding. While we hope you are able to sleep like a baby at night and go about your day without the climate crisis paralyzing your every move, it is true that by now the whole world is aware of how imperative it is to seek out ways in which we can transform our lives towards a more sustainable path. Transport sustainability is a big one, but luckily the bike industry is bringing about a new trend… Ride into the future on your new e-bike or e-motorcycle!

Fossil fuels are the biggest culprits when it comes to climate change. They contribute to 75% of global greenhouse emissions and almost 90% of all CO2 emissions. Around 27% of those greenhouse emissions are solely attributed to transportation. Therefore, we should be thrilled at the fact that the bike industry is increasingly releasing sustainable transportation options. It makes sense that bikes and motorcycles, and all vehicles really, should be electrically powered. However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine… While we are thrilled that environmental innovations nowadays allow us to drive an e-bike and/or an e-motorcycle and look pretty damn good doing so, transport sustainability still needs to dive deeper into the root of the problem.

It’s hard sometimes to tell the difference between a product that’s meant to genuinely tackle consumerism and advance sustainability efforts. After witnessing money-making schemes after money-making schemes greenwashing anything and everything from clothes, to drinks, to furniture, to food, to you-name-it-it’s-been-greenwashed, can you really blame us for doubting just how honest and veracious a company’s promise of sustainability maybe?

Source: Vanmoof

Transport sustainability is about a hell of a lot more than releasing a new e-bike or e-motorcycle

Is it really sustainable to buy into the idea that in order to solve – can we even solve it at this point? Haven’t we reached the point of no return and right now the most we can do is slow it down or slightly alleviate it? – the climate crisis we need to create more products that might be considered environmentally friendly? Or is it simply an excuse to relieve the guilt brought about by our consumeristic habits so that we can continue to be voluntarily blind to the truth: The environmental revolution needs to happen at the root level. We can’t just introduce new products and hope for the best, this isn’t good enough and this allows companies to push their hidden greed-motivated agendas under the banner of sustainability.

In order for environmental innovations to work, they need to happen alongside a sustainable revolution of the system. Does an e-motorcycle or an e-bike help push transport sustainability forward? Yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s any good if we don’t push it alongside other higher-impact environmental innovations. We’re talking subsidized public transport -which by the way it’s about time governments started investing in electric public transportation networks -, we’re talking real consequences and actionable restrictions on industry giants who refuse to transform their transportation infrastructure into sustainable ones. We’re talking cities – other than, like, Amsterdam and Berlin – committing to actually accommodating e-bikes, bicycles and e-motorcycles into their infrastructure, from parking to cycling or green lanes, to safety.

So, all in all, it’s fantastic for an e-bike or an e-motorcycle to be cool, hell it’s a great thing! Just… Let’s not forget that right now sustainability is a trend, but we need it to stick, we need it to stay. So buy your e-bike or your e-motorcycle, but then actually use it, and don’t throw it out and buy the next shiny new thing that makes you look the most up-to-date transport sustainability warrior.

There is hope still: Some of TNC’s green transportation favourites

There is however still some hope. Some of the products being released do feel like they might be trying not only to sell, but to actually shift the balance in favour of the environmental option, and tackle the sustainability issue beyond the surface level.

LiveWires’s S2 Del Mar

This is definitely a product that knows its target audience. It’s sleek, sexy, and beckons one to go on an adventure. Mind you, an environmentally responsible adventure.

The modular ARROW architecture underpinning the Del Mar, developed in-house at LiveWire Labs, demonstrates our ambition to lead in the EV space and establish LiveWire as the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world. We’re excited about the future at LiveWire and look forward to the company creating the path to the electrification of motorcycling. -Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of LiveWire Group Inc.

Don’t know about you, but we would😉

Source: LiveWire in Hypebeast

So what’s the key with this e-motorcycle? Well, yes it is electric and sustainable but that’s not its main selling point, that’s not even the point. If you want to transform an industry, particularly one as passionate as the bike industry, you don’t target your products to highlight how environmental they are so that people who want to act green will feel good buying them. You make the product compete with the industry standard. You make it desirable to all consumers, so that it will actually become the standard favoured choice, and have a chance at replacing gas motorbikes. Vehicles being electric should be a no-brainer by now, so give a motorcycle lover something to be excited about.

Life e-bike by Roetz

Bicycles have been one of the simplest forms of transportation for decades. Then e-bikes came along and while they revolutionized the cycling world, they also brought about a major dealbreaker for many: how expensive their repairs can be. Dutch social enterprise Roetz has come up with a solution.

Roetz’s new Life e-bike features a modular design. It is conveniently made out of modules that can be easily swapped out. This means that most repairs are as simple as can be and fixing anything only takes a few minutes. Not only that, but consumers can also modify their bike without the need to buy a new one if they wish to transform it to high speed for example. The Life e-bike is an e-bike you can literally have for life.

Source: Roetz
Source: Roetz

If any of you doubt Roetz’s intentions, maybe just take a look at their history. Their circular business model should be an example for all, taking old beaten up and abandoned bikes and turning them into gorgeous refurbished bikes. The Life e-bike is the first bike they are producing from scratch. Here’s to hoping it makes the difference we think it can!

Sushi Bike’s Maki+

One of the greatest challenges when it comes to sustainability is that as it currently stands, it’s kind of a privilege. Truth is, not everyone can afford sustainability. As such, how can we claim to champion sustainability and seek impactful changes if the majority of the population doesn’t have access to said sustainable alternatives? E-bikes face this problem often, as they are extremely costly compared to your average bike.

That’s where Sushi Bikes come in and that’s precisely why we love them. Their efforts in developing a product that not only makes sustainability affordable for wider audiences, but also looks and feels fantastic, is admirable.

The Maki + comes in different sizes and two different colours. A classic look for a modern bike.

Source: Sushi Bikes
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