Since April 2019 the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been put into place by the Mayor of London to help clear London’s toxic air. ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the exception of Christmas Day (and who said that the Christmas spirit was dead?)
The daily charge runs from midnight to midnight and if your vehicle does not meet ULEZ standards, you will be charged a daily fee and your car may then turn back into a pumpkin, or failing that, not paying will result in a nice penalty for you to pay.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone currently covers the same area as the congestion charge zone, so if your car gets on to Mr Kahn's naughty list, you will be lumbered with both charges .. you lucky devils!
The ULEZ charge will cost you a staggering £12.50 per day, failing to pay this could see you with a rather hefty fine of £160. If we throw in the congestion charge too, just for a laugh, then that brings the cost per day up to £27.50, and if you’re doing that every week you will be forking out a whopping £137.50! And after each month that equates to .. well .. you do the maths!
But don’t worry, there is some good news …, we’re only joking, there’s more bad news actually! Last week it was announced that the ULEZ will be expanded from central London in March 2021 to create a single larger zone up to the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).
You could use public transport of course, but we have been advised to avoid tubes, trains and busses, due to the increasing and ever present danger of COVID-19.
So with more and more road taxes and charges, increasing lane closures and rocketing pollution, there has never been a better time than right now to switch to an e-bike, and to help you decide we have come up with SIX benefits of being an electric bike owner.
An obvious one here, apart from the charges that we’ve just been talking about there are other expenses associated with driving a car. There are fuel costs of course, then you have road tax, insurance, maintenance, MOTs and not to mention the costs when things go wrong. Swapping your commute from a car to an e-bike could save you a small fortune.
According to Carbon Independent, 38 million tonnes of CO2 are emitted into our atmosphere by the 27 million cars on our roads. Electric bikes use a considerably less amount of energy than cars, whilst emitting zero emissions. By changing to an e-bike you can really do your part to improve air quality.
The health benefits
Forget the misconception that e-bike riders are lazy riders! To propel an electric bike forward you need to use your legs like any other bike. An e-bike uses pedal assisted technology. This means that it uses the motor to assist you, which ensures that you can explore longer distances, thus getting the physical exercise you need. An eBike gives people of varying abilities the opportunity to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Being able to get out and exercise also has positive mental health benefits.
E-bikes come in a number of varieties
Although e-bikes are fairly new, it hasn’t stopped technological advances making even smaller batteries and components to allow for a wide range of electric bikes with a multitude of purposes. Foldable e-bikes are the commuters favourite, with eCargo bikes being a winner for families that are changing their habits and using bikes to ferry kids to school and grab the shopping on the way home. Sporty eMTBs are available for the thrill seekers, and city cruisers and hybrids for the trekkers and tourers.
Electric bikes are the future
‘More than 3 million pedelecs on German roads alone seem to indicate clearly where we are headed. In Central Europe, the mid-term projection is that one in three new bicycles sold will be an eBike.’ This is what Claus Fleischer the manager at Bosch Bike Systems has been quoted as saying. With current trends and emerging changes, we can see this as the UK’s future too.
They’re not as expensive as you might think
A high end quality folding e-bike, like the Eovolt City, which we stock here at Ride LEV will cost you as little as £1299. This is outstanding value for money, especially if you compare it to the cost of a car and the costs associated with that. E-bikes can of course go into the thousands, but again, even the most expensive e-bike will still be relatively low cost compared to a car. The Tern eCargo bikes that we stock, are that little bit more expensive, but reassuringly also come with a 10 year warranty.
Well there you have it, something for you all to ponder. How long has that second car been sitting on your driveway? Are you sick and tired of the congested roads and sky rocketing commuting charges? Now is the time to dip your toes into the wonderful world of the e-bike.
Please ride safe.
The Ride LEV team