The Time Is Now

Support local, independent reporting.

Help the city we love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

JOIN NOW

Your Dream Car Is an E-Bike

“Sell your car, buy an e-bike. It will change your life.”

A new invention is about to transform how Portlanders get around their city.

It's called a bicycle.

We're serious. Technology is reinventing two wheels. The innovation? A tiny electric motor that engages when you pedal. No more laboring up hills—the electric bicycle, or e-bike, does the work.

That small change could power a revolution. E-bikes open cycling to excluded riders: harried moms, people of size, people with disabilities.

In the past three years, sales of e-bikes in the U.S. have nearly tripled—they made up $143 million of the bike industry's $6 billion in sales last year, even as regular bicycle sales declined. That was enough for Fortune to declare the e-bike "marks a new era for the bike industry."

And for Portland, a city always in search of a means to kill the combustible engine, that's an opportunity.

"I recommend everyone who can afford one should get one," says William Henderson, CEO of Ride Report, which compiles data on e-bikes, scooters and other "micro-mobility" devices. "Sell your car, buy an e-bike. It will change your life."

But first, read the following.

We looked at the ways e-biking could help Portland reduce car emissions and compiled a guide to the top rides. We talked to three moms whose e-bikes replaced minivans—one of them is our own reporter. And we ranked which e-devices are useful and which are just cool.

Cars are so over. E-bikes are here. Hop on.

Your Dream Car Is an E-Bike

Six Ways to Kill the Car

We Took Four of the Top-Selling E-Bikes in Portland Out For a Test Ride. Here Are Our Reviews.

Here's a Primer to Help You Navigate the E-Bike Market

E-Bikes Offer a Two-Wheeled Solution For Portland Moms

I Thought an E-Bike Was an Impulse Buy. But It Changed How I Thought About Bike Commuting.

Not All E-Vehicles Are Created Equal. Here's a Guide to the Current Crop, Mapped By Coolness and Practicality.