E-bikes are in the news this week! For a variety of reasons, people across the U.S. are talking about e-bikes, which is unsurprising as the global market is expected to reach $92 billion by 2029. From all out bans to innovative programs, it seems e-bikes are top of mind.

The New York City Housing Authority, for example, is recommending a new policy to ban all e-bikes from being housed in their buildings as of October 15th due to an uptick in fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. This could be a huge setback for e-bike adoption within the Big Apple, a city desperately in need of micro-mobility solutions.

And Bolt Mobility abandoned their equipment across several cities earlier this month. Their manufacturing partner, Element LEV, is working to clean up the mess, which could take some time as Element LEV doesn’t currently have relationships with Bolt Mobility’s customers. This means that, for now, many e-bikes will remain locked and useless in several cities across the U.S.

But it’s not all bad news: the Oakland, CA’s Department of Transportation (OakDOT) has unveiled an eBike library program for low-income neighborhoods in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and enhance equity. OakDOT will partner with GRID Alternatives, a renewable energy non-profit that will handle the logistics of the program, to provide a combination of e-bikes and adaptive cycles to adults (18+), including those with physical mobility limitations. In addition to providing access to these e-bikes, OakDOT and GRID Alternatives will work with local bike shops for education and maintenance services.

The program is expected to launch 500 e-bikes for medium and long-term use by October 15, 2022 if the supply chain holds up. But there are some concerns as to what the program will fully include and how the program will ultimately be managed. Currently, OakDOT is still surveying communities for input and ironing out the details, like pricing.

So far, the introduction of electric bikes or e-bikes has been a game changer for micro-mobility solutions and it seems like there’s some real staying power. Market drivers include increased cycling infrastructure, more municipal bike-sharing programs, and an overall uptick in awareness and health benefits of e-bikes. As more communities become carbon-conscious and health-oriented, e-bikes should continue to show up on the scene. Let’s just hope we can work out the kinks long enough to see the benefits.

Image Description: Zpryme Team at Mod Bikes