"Chole amar cycle haowar bege uira uira" (my bicycle rides like the wind) - this phrase might sound nutty but the iconic song from Bangla movie "Nantu Ghotok" will undoubtedly come to your mind if you were riding an e-bike.
An e-bike uses its integrated electric motor for propulsion. Depending on the motor installed, the bike can go up to 72 km/h. However, in most of the countries across the world, riders are permitted to ride e-bikes that do not cross a speed of 32 km/h.
Compared to other modes of transportation, an e-bike has many benefits; they come with an affordable price tag, support green energy, are easy to maintain, fun to ride, and promote a healthy way of living.
You might say that a conventional bicycle also carries similar perks however, an e-bike will not make you tired like the traditional non motorised bikes.
Classes of e-bikes
Depending on the type of bicycles, e-bikes are placed in three different classes:
Bikes of this category are the most passive ones; they only assist riders while they peddle, such bikes do not provide any throttle support. These bikes start supporting the riders once they start pedalling. However, it stops assisting once the speed reaches to 32 km/h.
These bikes are known as "low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle". Cycles of such sort have motors that allow the riders to reach a speed of up to 32 km/h without pedalling. But the riders can even ride faster by turning off the motors of e-bikes of this category and pedalling manually.
In terms of design, e-bikes of this category are aerodynamic and are often referred to as "speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle". Such bikes start to assist the rider as soon as s/he starts pedalling. These bikes can reach up to a speed of 45 km/h.
Battery capacity and covered distance
Modern e-bikes are mostly housed with lithium-ion batteries. The energy capacity of an e-bike can easily be measured by calculating Watt-hours (Wh).
The calculation is easy as well; to find the Wh of a battery pack, a simple multiplication of the voltage by the amp hours will suffice. An e-bike burns 20Wh of energy upon running for every 1.6 km.
If someone is using a 250 Wh e-bike, s/he will be able to travel a distance of 20 km before the battery burns out completely. However, if the motor is given support through active pedalling, an e-bike can cover a distance of up to 80 km.
Choosing the perfect bike
E-bikes may come with a hefty price tag. Thus, it is important to make sure that the bike feels like it was made for you. Carefully observe the frame size of the bike and see if you can touch the ground with your feet while sitting on the bike. If you are comfortable with the measurement, congratulations, you have got your first e-bike.
Availability in Bangladesh
From cheap Chinese versions to the branded, there are several e-bikes available in the country. You can also bring an e-bike from overseas. However, you will need to pay tax depending on the cost, insurance and freight value of your imported e-bike.
If you are looking forward to bring a bike from abroad for yourself, the b'fair e-bike can be a great choice. Among its many features, the e-bike has a Bafang motor with three-speed settings and a retro steel frame for ultimate comfort and speed.
It is excellent both for a quick errand run and a long leisure ride. Additionally, the bike also comes with a handmade handlebar and a Brooks saddle seat.
Local bike manufacturer Duranta Bicycle also makes great e-bikes. Their E-Fury 26" has the look of a mountain bike. Powered by a 250-watt motor, the bike can reach a maximum speed of 30 km/h and cover a distance of approximately 40-45 km in one full charge.
E-bikes are here to stay. You can assume how fast the industry is growing just by knowing the market size of the industry.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the e-bike market was valued at $15.42 billion in 2019, and it is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 6.21 percent, during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
Also, according to Forbes, more e-bikes are now sold in The Netherlands than non-electric bikes.
I guess it is time to fly while riding a bicycle now!