Replacing short car trips with e-bikes: report

A US report suggests that e-bikes can replace short car trips, with significant environmental benefits.

Bike Adviser says 55% of car trips in the United States are less than five miles — and if 50% of those were replaced by e-bikes, it would save 273,000 metric tons of CO2 every day,” which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 4.5 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years.”

It identifies five regions – the District of Columbia and four states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio – that have the greatest e-bike potential, as more than 57% of their car trips are up to 8 km.

“They could get the most out of e-bikes because of their relatively short journeys that could be replaced by cars with e-bikes,” the report suggests.

Switching from cars to e-bikes would collectively save 2,753 metric tons of CO2 every day at an adoption rate of 8%.

“This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 334 million charged smartphones,” says Bike Adviser.

Washington DC has the highest proportion of short-haul trips in the United States: 64% of trips are less than five miles.

But targeting the most polluting states would help generate greater CO2 savings, even if they have fewer trips under five miles.

For example, California, Texas, and New York “are states famous for their love affair with high-carbon cars and products.”

California has the highest transportation emissions of all, with 51,370 metric tons of CO2 emitted by cars every day.

“If just 8% of car trips in California were to be replaced by e-bikes, our country would save 4,078 metric tons of CO2 every day, nearly equivalent to the combined CO2 emissions saved in DC, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Wyoming and Ohio together,” the report said.

Bike Adviser is a bike platform operated by search engine optimization agency Manaferra.

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