Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Article on ebikes - Cycle to Work Scheme

I gave up cycling years ago due to a long term health condition. I have always keenly missed it but I was so inspired by a colleague, I tested out an electric bike (ebike) in a specialist ebike shop and found that ebikes are fantastic. Pedalling is not mandatory, though one can peddle if one wants. Cycling to my local station is now viable as ebikes are eligible under the ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’. In relation to carbon, moving an ebike burns far less energy than moving a one tonne car and, as the grid further decarbonises, carbon savings from ebike journeys replacing other transport will increase. I’m getting one.

Are ebikes viable for the physically less able?

Yes, they are  - and they offer those on limited incomes an alternative to a car. Rio’s Paralympians inspired us all get exercising, even those with disabilities, mobility issues and long term health conditions which limit our exercise. To gather more information about ebikes, I interviewed a colleague who became interested after hearing her friends talk about ‘arriving at work without needing a shower’. She wanted to get to and from her train station, avoid car trips to reduce local traffic jams (creating pollution) and escape parking fees. One only needs to use the bike to get to one’s local commuter station to qualify. She rented one, then bought one under the Cycle to Work scheme.

Testing before buying
I tested various models in the eligible price range (<£1000) and I was amazed to find that pedalling is an option on the most recent models. They have a throttle, 5-7 gears and power for at least 20 miles. Some fold up and fit into standard hatchback cars. They can go up hills with minimal effort like a moped (but without the need for a licence). The locked battery is removed and plugged in at home. One’s home policy may cover can offer insurance. Major train stations offer CCTV security and lockers are often available in shopping malls.

In my view, ebikes are a real breakthrough for those with certain physical or chronic health limitations as well as for the more mature cyclist. Colorado University’s recent research* suggests that ebikes can help one lose weight and improve aerobic fitness.

My advice is: try one before buying one in an ebike shop or rent one for a day. Check out that you can lift it without the battery. Electric bikes under £1000 are eligible under The Cycle to Work scheme. Payments come from one’s monthly salary and the savings offered under the scheme are considerable.

*Study in European Journal of Applied Physiology quoted in The Times article “Uphill no problem when one has an ebike” 13 September 2016


  1. Good post, have everthing one need to know about ebikes cycle. Looking forward to more such informative blogs, thank you for sharing it with us

  2. Ebikes is new concept to me and I want to learn more about it. You just gave me topic for my assignment, thank you for sharing it and helping me