As an avid bike commuter (100 percent human-powered) and environmentalist, I’m not impressed by the pervasive urban myth about e-bikes’ potential to replace car usage and therefore reduce pollution.
Regular bicycles, and some good exercise, have the exact same potential. We have been using cassettes and sprockets of various sizes to allow for high speeds and steep hills for half a century. The excessive environmental impact from the materials mining and manufacturing of the batteries and electric motors fly in the face of the claimed green-ness of these toys, when there is low-impact technology available.
I’m calling them toys because half the time I encounter e-bikers on bike paths with their legs hardly moving (i.e., no exercise). Let’s tax these things like cars/motorcycles, at a lower rate, of course, if they are indeed urban transportation vs. entertainment, like the similarly frivolous e-skate boards and scooters.
Lastly, I’d love to see an adoption of speed limits on bike paths (like in Europe), as I get startled often by speeding/passing e-bikers who don’t even care about announcing themselves.