E-Bikes 101: Cycle for a Greener Tomorrow

E-Bikes: Introduction

Welcome to this week’s Play It Green Weekly Tip where this week we explore the world of e-bikes for exciting and eco-friendly commutes. These modern bikes revolutionise urban transportation, providing a fun and sustainable way to navigate city streets.

In this article, we embark on a journey through the history of e-bikes, from their traditional bicycle roots to the high-tech wonders of today. Discover the environmental impact of commuting and how they can reduce carbon emissions and foster cleaner air in our cities.

Find out what to look for when choosing an electric bike, considering motor power, battery range, and more, for an informed and tailored commuting experience. We’ll also highlight our favourite e-bike brands that combine quality, style, and eco-consciousness.

Ready to embrace a greener and more exciting commute? Dive into the world of e-bikes and discover valuable insights for fun, eco-friendly, and sustainable commuting. 

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E-Bikes: A History

The history of e-bikes is a fascinating tale of innovation and technological advancements. Today, let’s dive into this captivating journey and explore how they have evolved to become the eco-friendly transportation marvels we know and love. 

The story begins in the early 19th century, with the invention of the pedal-powered bicycle. 

As cycling gained popularity, inventors like Thomas McCall, Ogden Bolton Jr., and Hosea W. Libbey explored the integration of electric motors into bicycles. In fact, the very first patent for an electric bicycle was filed as early as 1895! However, it wasn’t until recent years that e-bikes truly gained traction and popularity.

Fast forward to the present and electric bikes have emerged as a sustainable solution for modern transportation. These electric-powered marvels offer a smooth and efficient ride, combining pedal power with electric assistance.

Did you know that e-bikes are incredibly efficient? They convert up to 90% of the energy they consume into useful work, making them one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation available. This does depend on terrain and use.

E-Bikes The 1899 Humber Electric Tandem, said to have reached 40 mph on the track
The1899 Humber Electric Tandem, said to have reached 40 mph on the track

The history of the electric bike is an exciting narrative of human ingenuity and our ongoing quest for greener transportation solutions. If you’re intrigued by this captivating journey, keep reading to uncover more fascinating facts and insights about the world of e-bikes.

E-Bikes: Benefits

Commuting has a significant impact on our lives and the environment, making it essential to consider sustainable alternatives like e-bikes. Let’s explore the positive effects of choosing eco-friendly commuting options.

Traditional commuting methods often contribute to traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise. By opting for an electric bike, we can reduce these negative impacts and create a more pleasant and sustainable commuting experience.

These bikes also offer a cleaner mode of transportation, emitting zero emissions and reducing our carbon footprint. This in turn means that they provide an opportunity to actively contribute to a greener future.

The time and health benefits of commuting on an electric bike are also noteworthy. Riding, one not only saves time by manoeuvring through traffic, but it also promotes physical activity and a healthier lifestyle.

Electric bikes are also far more energy-efficient compared to cars and motorcycles, making them a smart choice for environmentally conscious individuals.

E-Bikes Riding an e-bike to commute or travel promotes a healthier lifestyle
Riding an e-bike to commute or travel promotes a healthier lifestyle

By choosing one for our daily commute, we can improve our well-being, reduce our impact on the environment, and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with eco-friendly transportation.

Want to know what to look for when it comes to sustainable electric bikes? Read on to find out.

E-Bikes: What to Look For

When it comes to choosing the perfect e-bike, several factors deserve your attention.

First and foremost, consider the motor type and power. Opt for a reliable motor that suits your riding needs, whether it’s a hub motor or a mid-drive or a rear-drive. Also, higher power ratings provide enhanced speed and performance.

Battery capacity and range are crucial aspects. Look for models with long-lasting batteries, offering sufficient range for your desired distances.

Frame design and build quality play a vital role in comfort and durability. Choose a sturdy frame that matches your riding style and provides stability.

Don’t forget about the braking system. High-quality brakes ensure safety and control, especially when navigating challenging terrains.

Furthermore, consider the available features and accessories. From built-in lights to racks and fenders, these additions can enhance your riding experience.

Remember to test ride before purchasing to get a feel for the bike’s handling, comfort, and responsiveness.

E-Bikes Electric Bikes offer more independence and a longer range than ever before
Electric Bikes offer more independence and a longer range than ever before

Interesting fact: Did you know that some e-bikes offer regenerative braking, converting braking energy into stored power for extended battery life?

If you want to know where to buy an electric bike, read on to find out!

E-Bikes: Three Great Places to Shop

Riese & Muller

Founded by two friends Markus Riese and Heiko Muller in 1993, Reise & Muller set out to make the most sustainable electric bikes they could.

Along with managing partner, Dr Sandra Wolf, the company is now one of the global leaders when it comes to manufacturing sustainable two-wheeled transport!

Not only do their bikes get you there effortlessly, but sustainability, transparency and social impact are at the heart of everything they do. The company even produces an impact report every year.

E-Bikes Riese & Muller Nevo Vario Electric Bike
Riese & Muller Nevo Vario Electric Bike


If you want a company on a mission to make sustainable electric bikes even more sustainable, then Canyon is the company for you.

Their mission is to be the world’s premier bike brand. Not just for our great bikes – but because they build them fairly.

Having already measured its emissions, the company has now set targets to reduce them and is currently working on its circular economy approach. On top of this, the company has strong employment and conservation policies.

E-Bikes 2020 Canyon Spectral Electric Bike
Canyon Spectral Electric Bike


Once known as M & Ps Cycles which began life as a normal cycle shop in the 1980s, Tredz evolved into the company they are now in 2006. The company supplies a whole range of cycles and cycle gear and now specialises in e-bikes.

They have two UK stores, a website and stock lots of great electric bike brands. They also specialise in advice and support and play a big part in the cycling community.

The company’s great service is also shown in its customer reviews. They also support Bike 4 Cancer and have strong a recycling program.

E-Bike Dawes nearly new electric bike from Tredz
Dawes nearly new electric bike from Tredz

Best of all, if you want a nearly new electric bike, you can use code NEARLYNEW10 at checkout for a fantastic 10% discount on the entire nearly new range.

Cycle to Work Business Scheme

Due to the high cost of electric bikes, there are a number of government-approved employer schemes that can save up to 48% on a new bike.

It means that your employer can work with you and the bike company to, in effect, hire a bike and save lots on the cost of buying a new one.

It’s open to all PAYE employers and our featured retailers both supply via this scheme making electric bikes more accessible than ever.

Use the link above to find out more and if you want to commute more sustainably, speak to your employer about setting this up.

That’s a Wrap

E-bikes present an exciting and sustainable solution for commuting and exploring the world around us. With their eco-friendly nature, health benefits, and efficient performance, they are revolutionising the way we travel.

By choosing an electric bike, we can reduce our carbon footprint, improve our well-being, and embrace a greener future. So, why wait?

Take the leap and hop on an e-bike today let’s pedal our way towards a brighter, healthier, and more sustainable tomorrow. Happy riding!



Play It Green receives no financial incentive to promote the brands and companies that appear in our weekly tips. We promote them to help people make informed decisions on sustainable choices.

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