LOS ANGELES — As Los Angeles cyclists take to the streets on two wheels as part of Bike to Work Day, a new study from The Bike Adviser website reports that e-bikes could reduce as much as 50% of carbon emissions if used to replace short car trips.
Using data from the U.S. Census and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the study ranked states based on where e-bikes have the most potential to reduce emissions. While California ranked 21st among all states for the percentage of short car trips in the U.S., it ranked first for CO2 emissions.
The website defines a short car trip as up to five miles. In California, 55.2% of car trips are considered short. Collectively, those trips generate 51,370 metric tons of carbon dioxide daily.
If 8% of those trips were taken with an e-bike instead, it would save enough energy to charge 49 million smartphones or fly 4,442 planes round trip between New York and London, according to the study. If 50% of trips were replaced with e-bikes, the energy saved could power 3 billion smart phones or power 27,764 New York-to-London round trips.
While Washington D.C., Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio have the highest percentages of car trips that are five miles or fewer, California presents the greatest opportunity for emissions savings by swapping cars for e-bikes because of the number of registered vehicles.