The Future is Electric.
There is endless talk today about electric vehicles' fuel efficiency and economic advantages. While many are considering buying their first electric cars or trucks, others are looking at the vast and varied world of electric bicycles.
Electric bikes are fun, easy to use, and ideal for commutes or leisure. If you know how to ride a regular bicycle, riding an ebike involves only a few extra steps. There are many advantages to an ebike, including the motorized boost you get going up hills and the portability and storability designed into many models, allowing you to take them aboard buses and trains. Lots of manufacturers also offer three-wheeled ebikes, also called electric trikes.1,2
Electric trikes have their own set of features that make them special, including a few that may not be immediately obvious. First up is balance. For various reasons, some people may have difficulty maintaining their equilibrium, which could have previously kept them from using two-wheeled modes of transport, like bicycles and motorcycles. Three-wheeled etrikes solve this issue for many riders through firm three-point contact with the ground.
Next is Storage.
While ebikes offer speed and distance, they aren't great for running certain kinds of errands, like picking up groceries or going to the laundromat. Many etrike models offer baskets in the front, back, or both, allowing you to pick up your shopping or strap on a laundry bag (or two!) If you're an outdoor enthusiast, imagine the possibilities of riding an etrike to a nearby camping site or fishing spot.
Another less obvious advantage comes from the etrike's versatility for all body types. A shorter person, for example, may have more options for having an etrike customized to be suitable for their height. Another difference between etrikes and ebikes is that etrikes require less physical labor. So, if you contend with pain issues, you may find the etrike to be a less strenuous option.
Ultimately, the differences between ebikes and etrikes come down to personal preference and how you envision using them. One thing that applies to both is that neither requires gasoline or the maintenance costs associated with any car. Auto insurance isn't needed for an ebike, whereas it is for cars and motorcycles. And you can't beat the free parking that comes with an ebike or etrike, whether that means locking it to a rack or folding it up and bringing it inside with you.
Ebikes and etrikes represent a versatile way to get around, and newer models always boast longer distance ranges. So, be safe, budget for a helmet, and happy cycling!3,4