Over the past few years, e-bike popularity has exploded, opening up a whole new modes of mobility for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Sleeker than motorcycles, e-bikes look like your average two-wheeler with a battery pack added to the bike frame. The battery size and type varies across different models, but they can usually be removed from your bike and charged indoors the same way you charge your phone or a laptop, and can even be carried in spares for long bike rides.
There’s a reason you see so many e-bikes in Toronto and other major cities, and that’s because they make getting around much easier! By providing riders with pedal assist, e-bikes can help cyclists tackle steep hills and long journeys by reducing the amount of effort needed to move the bike, although you can still ride an e-bike by pedaling if you wanted to. You can even ride your e-bike in the winter, as the extra power can help you traverse ice and snow.
E-bikes are the perfect vehicle for couriers and food delivery workers since they’re perfectly suited to navigating tight city streets without sacrificing speed or mobility. Read on to compare e-bikes to other vehicles, the logistics of using one for delivery work, and how gig workers can secure e-bike financing.
An e-bike can do everything a road bike can do, and more. Just like a regular bike you can peddle, brake, coast, navigate some uneven terrain, and easily lock your bike to a post or a bike rack. E-bikes are only slightly larger than road bikes, so you can bring them inside your house for overnight storage if you wish, or you can lock them in any standard sized bike rack, bike storage room, garage, or shed.
The main advantage e-bikes have over road bikes is pedal assist, which helps you save energy while pedaling. You can turn pedal assist on or off depending on your cruising speed and your terrain. You may find that downhill or flat terrain don’t require pedal assist, so you can easily switch it off until it’s needed again to conserve your battery. Pedal assist is useful for hills and other situations where your top speed is dependent on pedaling like you’re Lance Armstrong.
So where do standard bikes have the advantage? For starters, since they lack a battery, they’re usually lighter, so they have the upper hand in the rare situation you have to carry or lift your bike. The lightness also makes them easier to pedal on rough or elevated terrain, an advantage which is negated if you use pedal assist and primarily ride in cities.
The other advantage of standard bikes is that they’re more useful for exercise. If you’re going on a bike ride just for fitness, you don’t need a motor; but if you’re commuting or working as a courier, a motor comes in handy. That being said, you can can ride an e-bike without the battery and pedal all you want if you don’t feel like turning on pedal assist.
Cars have their time and place, but when it comes to navigating dense cities with lots of traffic, e-bikes come out on top. Their mobility and affordability make them the prime option for couriers in cities like Toronto where parking can be a rare and expensive commodity. Being able to pull up onto any sidewalk and using any bike rack is always going to be faster and easier than fighting for parking near busy popular restaurants.
Since e-bikes are electric batteries, they can be charged very cheaply. The cost of keeping your battieries fully charged is pennies compared to what you would pay for gas. If you plan to be out for a long day of ebiking, you can also carry spare batteries rather than rely on gas stations.
E-bikes are also more affordable than cars at the base level – a basic new e-bike costs roughly 90% less than a basic new sedan without any bells and whistles. While you can find a used car for less money, you often end up paying more for it over time thanks to maintenance costs.
It’s important to note that the upkeep on any car is much more expensive than the upkeep required for an e-bike, with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) valuing the cost of owning an operating a small car for a year around $3300. The average annual cost of maintaining an e-bike is much cheaper at approximately $318, although this can be cut in half if you’re able to perform basic bike repairs yourself.
On the other hand, cars do outperform e-bikes in terms of range and cargo capacity. Although cargo e-bikes are available, cars are still the best in show when it comes to transporting anything large or heavy. While you may be able to tackle something small like an Instacart order with a cargo e-bike, anything over 350 lbs (such as furniture or appliances) likely has to be transported with a car or truck. Cars are the better option for journeys that are over 30km or include highways, but wear and tear quickly when driving inside cities.
Yes, you can use an e-bike for UberEats, Skip The Dishes, Doordash, and any other food delivery platform you use. Using an e-bike is not cheating, and it is not against the rules of any delivery platform. Yet it does give you a distinct advantage over other bike couriers.
Using an e-bike for food delivery can help you move faster, allowing you to complete deliveries faster and take on more potential business. You’ll also be less tired after each delivery, allowing you to stay out longer or to have more energy to live your life.
If you want to get a leg up on the competition, Moves is offering food couriers in Ontario e-bike financing at starting at 0% APR.
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