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Keep EVs Earth-Friendly


If you close your eyes, electric vehicles can seem like magic. Quiet, smooth, and with no tailpipe, they're better than gas vehicles in virtually every way. But as Team FreeBike has written elsewhere, not all electric vehicles are created equal - specifically, for any given amount of battery, an electric bike delivers about twenty times as many miles of transportation as does an electric car. Now, that matters because there's not nearly enough production of the key battery ingredients to allow everyone to drive an electric car. If we don't want a shortage of battery ingredients to limit the transition to clean transportation, we need most people hopping on electric bikes rather than buying a new electric car.


Of course, people being people, and markets being markets, there are folks out there scouring the Earth for more battery ingredients. And, science being science, they've found some - scattered over an area of the ocean floor larger than the continental United States. So, what's the problem? Well, gathering those ingredients would mean turning the ocean floor into a giant strip mine, and would do to ocean ecosystems what giant strip mines on land do - but with the added issue of being immersed in water to carry their pollution across an immensely larger area.


So, when you think about the benefits of small electric vehicles, such as electric bikes and scooters and their little relatives, remember: it's not just that they're healthier for their riders; it's not just that they're healthier for the neighbors and neighborhoods where those riders live; it's not just that they stimulate local economic activity and facilitate human interaction; it's not just that they reduce the need for parking lots and highways and intensely expensive road infrastructure; it's not just that they use less energy; it's not just that they're more affordable; and it's not even just that they facilitate more people being able to access electric mobility compared to a future limited to electric cars.


It's also that by letting us all walk lightly, electric bikes also prevent the hunt for battery ingredients from leading humanity to damage the Earth the way that the hunt for oil and gas has done. There are already beautiful, functional, prosperous communities where most trips happen with pedal power and light electric vehicles. To be better, the future can't just be electric, it needs to be lighter. Let's show that we've learned something from the last couple hundred years of ecological exploitation, and let's not strip-mine the oceans in a short-sighted effort to save the atmosphere.


If you're interested in discussing how to bring light electric vehicles to your business, apartment complex, or city, get in touch. We all have a role to play in helping our communities relearn how to walk lightly. Sincerely, FreeBike.

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