What is an electric bike. The beginner’s guide

In the past few years, the word “electric” has stuck to many other words — mainly those related to information technology (e.g. ebooks), and to vehicles. Now we have electric cars, electric buses, electric ferries, and, quite predictably, electric bikes or ebikes.

Let’s understand together what an electric bike is, answering the 10 most popular questions in this beginners’ guide, including reasons to buy, working principle, types, range, charging, license, brands, cost, and more.

Ivan Kuznetsov
Outdoor writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland

— An ebike is like a normal bicycle, but with one important difference — an electric motor. It is easier to ride such a bike than a regular one because the motor assists you. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pedal on an electric bike. It depends on the type of bicycle. We will deal with that further down.

Riding an e-bike also does not harm the environment. The motor generates energy from a battery, not by burning fuel, such as in motorbikes, cars, and other vehicles. An electric bike is as environmentally friendly as a normal bicycle.

People still think how to exactly name this new type of vehicle. In addition to the popular phrase “electric bike”, it is often said and written in completely different ways: electric bicycle, electro bike, e-bike, pedal electric bike, as well as battery bike or battery-powered bike. You can even come up with your own name!

Read next my guide to electric bikes in the blog of the Velospeed.co.uk — an online ebikes store in the United Kingdom with a showroom in Reading, Berkshire. And, if you want to know more about the various issues related to ebikes, read separate articles:

Discover the very different types of electric bike

What is the fastest ebike. Surpise, it is British

The main advantages and disadvantages of electric bikes

How much does an electric bike weigh

Must-know electric bike laws and regulations (editor)


Text: Ivan Kuznetsov

Cover photo: KBO bikes / Unsplash

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