E-bikes caused a buzz on the agenda at the California Transportation Commission meeting last Wednesday in Riverside, where CalBike recruited Jonathan Weinert of Bosch, a longtime supporter, to make a presentation and provide bikes for commissioners to ride to help illustrate the many transportation needs that electric bikes can meet.
Weinert presented on the development of electric bicycles and exciting technological developments in the field, and presented new research on their use in North America indicating that e-bikes are replacing car trips more than any other kind of trip. The study found that e-bike users are nearly twice as likely to be women as standard bike riders, a statistic greeted with enthusiasm by a number of commissioners.
Our co-presentation to the California Transportation Commission: The Rise of E-Bikes in the US
Commissioners were more engaged with this topic than with most others on the agenda, pressing Wienert and CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder about electric bicycle technology and research about their use. By the end of the presentation, comments, and questions, commissioners were wondering why the state wasn’t doing more to get e-bikes into the hands of Californians.
One of the more encouraging indications to come from the last meeting of the year is that commissioners see some of the potential CalBike does in electric bicycles in providing healthy and sustainable transportation options to the communities that most need them. Ex-officio member Jim Frazier, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, asked about the incorporation of e-bikes into the clean vehicle and electric car subsidization efforts the committee’s already engaged in, and we certainly agree with the assembly-member that a bill to expand e-bike access with Air Resources Board subsidies is a great idea (reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested in working with us on legislation!)
The California Bicycle Coalition will continue to advocate for the inclusion of green, accessible mobility options like e-bikes as our state shapes tomorrow’s transportation system and its outcomes.