Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular in Poland. The number of their users is growing year on year, and half of the respondents of a recent survey by the Polish Bicycle Association "Use of electric bicycles and purchase preferences" are considering the purchase of an e-bike in the near future. Those asked also pointed to the lack of subsidy schemes for such purchases.
We talk to Filip Baranowski, Product Manager at Green Cell, about the advantages of e-bikes and aspects of their use.
Did you know that, according to a survey by the Polish Bicycle Association, already 10% of Poles ride an electric bicycle and almost half are considering such a purchase?
To be honest, this does not surprise me at all. Poles have long since fallen in love with the lifestyle of the Dutch or the Danes, who travel in cities mainly by bicycle. Not only does it benefit their health, but they also gain time by not having to stand in traffic jams and save money - they don't have to pay for fuel or a monthly ticket. Not to mention finding a place to park. I have also noticed that people are initially quite sceptical about electric bikes, but those who have the opportunity to ride one are almost in awe. They find out first-hand how comfortable it is to ride, that it provides a respite over longer distances and helps with hill climbs.
Do you think they will still want to return to 100% mechanical bikes after such a purchase? Or do you predict that these will soon be a thing of the past?
I don't think I know anyone who, having had an electric bike, has switched back to a traditional bike. It's too much convenience to give it up.
What does having an electrician entail? What do you need to bear in mind? Annual servicing and what else?
Like any bike, an e-bike needs an annual service. You need to check the condition of the brakes, derailleurs, lights. But in an electric bike, the most important thing is a well-chosen battery. It's what determines whether we're happy with our choice. Just as we have a lot of bikes on the market, we also have a lot of types of batteries for e-bikes. So you need to choose the right one for your needs. Starting with the mounting method, although this is something we should take into account when buying the bike itself. In addition to the battery itself, an e-bike battery charger is equally important - so that the bike can be charged quickly and anywhere.
What should you consider when buying a battery for your e-bike?
First and foremost, consider where you will be riding your e-bike and how long distances you will be covering on a single charge. A bike for a short commute will require a different battery, and one that we will be using for long trips, e.g. to the mountains. The latter will need a longer-lasting battery so that it does not run out of power when it is needed most. Another consideration is its size and weight. It should be light enough to carry the bike up the stairs, hang it on the hook or take it into the lift without too much trouble. You should also pay attention to whether the battery has the appropriate tests and certificates - in a word, whether it is safe.
What does it look like to charge an electric? Are there charging stations like there are for cars?
Many people are concerned that if they buy an e-bike they will have problems charging it. Some have just imagined that charging stations are needed for this, as with electric cars, and these are commonly said to be in short supply. Meanwhile, charging an e-bike is simple, comparable to charging any consumer electronics equipment. We can do it anywhere we have access to an outlet with electricity. This could be the garage or basement where we store the bike, e-bike charging stations, and in many cases we can remove the battery and take it home or to work with us and just plug it in there.
What are the best batteries for an ebike? Has Green Cell done any battery testing for ebikes?
I have no hesitation in saying that I sincerely recommend GreenCell batteries. Firstly, they take up to 2.5 hours less time to charge than a typical battery. We use a current of 4 amps in the batteries, while the standard is 2-3 amps. In addition, all batteries for e-bikes that are manufactured in our factory in Skawina undergo specialised tests at every stage of production and are subject to appropriate certification. Starting with the components used to make them and ending with the final product. This guarantees safe use, protection against overcharging and overdischarge The thermal protection will prevent the battery from overheating even in extreme temperatures, which is very important.
What do you think about the idea of subsidies for the purchase of electric bicycles in Poland. Such solutions are already functioning in many countries.
It would be a very good idea. Thanks to such subsidies many people who cannot afford it at the moment could afford to buy an e-bike. And every person who switches from a car to a bike helps save the environment. Such subsidies would certainly be a milestone in the development of electromobility and would contribute to a green change.