Dear EarthTalk: Is there any truth to the assertion that e-bikes recharged off the fossil-fuel grid actually generate fewer carbon emissions overall than conventional human-powered bikes?
— Sandy McClave, New York, NY
Well, actually, there could be … E-bike pioneer Justin Lemire-Elmore argues that e-bikes are better for the environment, at least if you compare the carbon emissions associated with producing enough extra food to fuel the rider of a standard bicycle against the emissions from coal-derived electricity used to charge an e-bike.
“Although counterintuitive that a vehicle fueled by something as dirty as coal can be considered clean and green, the fact is that food production is much dirtier,” reports Lemire-Elmore. “All things being equal, an electric bicycle produces 8.5 times less greenhouse gases than a standard bicycle.”
Lemire-Elmore goes on to argue that considerations of the carbon impact of the food we eat should take into …Read More