Help us equip Ukraine with military and rescue e-bikes
I was in contact with members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, who were looking for help in obtaining all kinds of equipment. More recently, they’ve been looking for every type of all-terrain vehicle they could get, but despite the help they’re getting from Western governments, supplies are still scarcer than they’d like. This includes not only vehicles, but also diesel or gasoline to power them. Fortunately, clean energy offers them another option.
After explaining the benefits of e-bikes (they don’t need fuel, you can still pedal them if they’re dead, and they’re the quietest way to go faster than walking), they agreed that they would be a good option for both. military units and humanitarian workers of all kinds. Not only can e-MTBs get off-road, they can more easily maneuver around rubble, damaged roads, and reservoir barriers that are present in many cities.
Before I explain more about why e-bikes are an ideal solution for underdogs in a war, I want to go ahead and ask readers for help in providing them. I’ve had issues with fundraising sites blocking war and overseas humanitarian aid items before, so instead of asking for funds, I’d like to ask businesses and individuals to ship bikes and accessories directly. Shipping from USA to Ukraine is already supported. If you would like to ship any of the items below to us, visit our “contact us” page and we will get back to you with my address.
I can also receive funds through Venmo (@jennifersensiba) and Cash App ($jennifersensiba). Any funds sent would be used to purchase the supplies listed below, for fuel to tow the bikes to a nearby air base or terminal, or to free up time in case I am swamped with bikes and need to work temporarily on that full time (and even then I would only use the bare minimum necessary to do so). Any amount helps. I’m not a non-profit organization, so unfortunately you can’t deduct it from your taxes.
If you represent a company that sells electric bicycles, I will feature your bikes in a review article before sending them help, and thanks for your help in featured articles. I’ll also ask for follow-up pictures and stories of how the gear has helped people, and I’ll mention you if possible. This would both benefit your business and could make it tax deductible as an advertising expense (I’m not a lawyer, please check with your accountant or tax attorney on this).
what we need
Why we ask all this
The bikes also have a lot of history of military use. For a long time, the Swiss army had entire units of “light bicycle infantry” riding really awful bicycles. The speed, quietness, independence from fuel, and the ability to get to many places that motorized vehicles cannot go add up to great utility. Add an electric motor, power electronics and modern lithium battery, and you have the ability to move more like a motorcycle while remaining quiet and being able to push or lift the bike much more easily. You have almost the mobility of a horse, but without the need for food and veterinary care.
You can also carry weight on the bike with minimal effort. Food, water, shelter, weapons, ammunition and much more do not tire the legs. Add a trailer and you can haul everything from shoulder-fired missiles to wounded soldiers.
Modern armies are already experimenting with them and finding ways to get the most out of them. There is the Australian Army (video below), as well as several European armies at various stages of testing.
In addition to the benefits of mobility, the military is already plan to use solar panels to keep bikes moving on long rides without the need to run supply lines to deliver fuel. This helps reduce defense costs and makes it MUCH more difficult to cut them down and get them out of the fight. Additionally, heat signatures and other means of targeting are mitigated.
So, it’s not just a dumb idea green lovers have come up with. This is something that larger, well-supplied militaries study. Helping it become a reality for Ukraine is a great way to help it defend its country and reduce its costs in a war that does not favor it.
More importantly, it’s something we can do for them without having to have the United States government budget. We can’t provide them with planes, tanks or anything like that, but we can give them an edge.
Don’t like to support the war? Support fast-delivery, life-saving first aid services
If you’ve seen the social media coming out of Ukraine, it’s clear there’s a lot of civil suffering. Destroyed buildings and homes, damaged streets and tank barriers make it difficult for paramedics, aid workers and people delivering vital supplies to move through towns that have been shelled and shelled.
Electric bikes offer a powerful alternative in these trying times. Experience in France shows us that using bicycles to get around urban traffic jams reduces the time needed to get public safety personnel to the scene and saves lives. Congestion in places like Kyiv is quite different from Paris, but the ability to navigate small obstacles, cross small spaces, and even lift/push a bike over rubble makes things possible that aren’t possible with ambulances, police cars, and other traditional public safety vehicles. Like military e-bikes, it is also possible to charge them with solar generators and not rely on scarce fuel to save lives.
The low end bikes above are mission oriented, so you don’t have to support the war to make a difference and help innocent people who are suffering and dying right now.
I hope you can support this cause, and if not, I hope you can share this article so we can get things done!
Do you appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a member, supporter, technician or ambassador of CleanTechnica – or a patron on Patreon.