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Two-wheelers are lighter, easier to park, take less space on the road and as a result consume much less energy than a car to produce and to run. You can often get somewhere more quickly or a bike or scooter than you can in a car. Cities are investing in new cycleways and are slowly banning polluting vehicles from urban areas.
We have marvelled at the rise of the car in the last century. Perhaps we will do the same for the rising use of bicycles, electric mopeds and scooters during the next! This rising fashion could see reduced car ownership, whilst using shared vehicles for long-distance travel or for transporting goods. As a result, we’ll need fewer roads, have cleaner air, and a more sociable population who mix using two-wheeler vehicles with public transport. In turn, we will get around just as quickly, will be fitter and will create a better future.
Here you will learn about the amazing rising number of two-wheeler alternatives, which we hope will inspire you to save money and cut your impact on the planet.
The 21st century has seen politicians and civil servants publicly getting onto their bicycles. This is due to bicycles being a major part of modern transport policy. Governments want to shift 80% of car journeys which are under 5 miles to become bicycle journeys. Air pollution from cars (including electric cars) causes lung diseases, mainly due to particulate matter from tyres and exhausts. The alternative is two-wheeler transport or light rail, with the former offering immense health benefits.
Although policy has gone this way, the public is reluctant to change due to the culture of car ownership, variable weather, hygiene issues, safety, needs for multi-person transportation and lack of confidence. Increasingly these issues are being overcome, with bikes becoming the new cool and electric bikes offering a means to not turn up to work too hot and sweaty. Many are finding ways to use bikes alongside other forms of transport for longer distances, with trailers and other attachments being used to take children to school. Safety is still a major concern, but this is often associated with a lack of confidence, adequate cycle lanes and over-use of roads.
These days a good first-hand pushbike will set you back around £600. Electric bikes will cost around £1,200 and will have ranges for unassisted travel of up to 30 miles. With the right weatherproof accessories and the clever purchasing from the thriving second-hand market, people can be on the road for £300 for a push bike and £900 for an electric. If a commuter pays £10 a day, the cost of a bike can be made back within half a year, making the transport costs negligible if you upskill on bike maintenance.
There are amazing schemes to assist cyclists such as cycle to work schemes where you can offset the cost of your bike against tax. There is also incredible training available for the nervous cyclist.
Check out our community for some inspiring stories of the ways people have been using their bikes and share your own experiences!
Motorcycles and Mopeds
The manufacturing and running costs of motorbikes and mopeds come in somewhere between a third and a half of the cost of a car. With so many of us travelling single occupancy in vehicles, it seems a no brainer to move to a motorcycle or moped, as is commonly done on the continent. Weather is an issue in the UK, but with an increasing number of covered options available, there seem only a few excuses not to make the leap, especially for regular commutes.
Electric motorbikes and mopeds are quickly coming onto the market with some incredibly long ranges and low running costs, with the on the road price being around £3,500. When you’re spending so much on petrol every week, then these options can pay back very quickly, and are a very good option for younger people. There are also some incredibly good hire schemes that allow the consumer to get up and running without a large spend. The bonus is that you end up saving on tax, petrol and servicing, whilst bringing your cost to the environment to a quarter that of an electric vehicle.
If you’ve got stories to share about using electric motorcycles or mopeds, then our community would love to hear them! And if you’ve got recommendations of suppliers, please add them to the numerous suggestions already provided.
Push and electric scooters are becoming a norm on our streets. There are some excellent fold up options allowing you to easily take them on the train or bus, and they allow you to get around in a city very quickly. You can get started on an electric scooter for as little as £250, which may incentivise you to get out of the car and use other forms of public transport. If so, you’ll save money, see more of the world and do your bit for the environment.