Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open to visitors by appointment only. Please call or email from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
703-324-7136 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 533
Fairfax, VA 22035
John Morrill

E-Bikes: A New Sensation in Sustainable Transportation

Post written by Maiya Justice, Intern, George Mason University, Class of 2024

E-bikes, also known as electric bicycles or electric-powered bikes, have the same functionality as a regular bike, but with a modern twist. Rather than pedaling being the only way to propel you forward, e-bikes have batteries and motors built into the frame - combining the efficiency of a motor vehicle with the physical benefits and accessibility of traditional bicycles. Their motor allows you to get up to speeds of 20 miles an hour without a second thought, and many e-bikes can be charged easily at home and typically only take 6-12 hours to be fully charged. They are a great alternative form of transportation, particularly well-suited for running errands and short trips.

Read this quick primer on e-bikes and where to find them!

What are the benefits of e-bikes?

E-bikes are becoming more and more common for commuting as well as recreational use. There are many reasons for this, but the following are our favorites:

  • Rather than being stuck in traffic, like one of thousands on the road, you can get around the hustle and bustle easily.  
  • Purchasing an e-bike will also save you money in the long run. The average commute with a gas vehicle is roughly 20 miles a day - there and back would be about 40 miles a day. If you were to make this drive 5 days a week, and 52 weeks a year (including holidays), that comes out to roughly $1,500 per year spent on gas.
  • Another thing to consider is the wear and tear to your vehicle. The average commute would be equal to roughly 10,000 miles per year. All that driving will call for additional car maintenance and cost you a pretty penny. 
  • E-bikes also help you while helping the environment! A typical personal vehicle will emit up to 4.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.  If more people were to use e-bikes to commute, shop for groceries, or other errands, we could greatly reduce these emissions. 

Where can I get one?

There are many options online for purchasing an e-bike ranging in cost from $300 to well over $10,000 dollars, so it all depends on your price range and preferences. There is also the more sustainable option of shopping online for second-hand bikes being sold.

How does Fairfax County help you get the most out of your e-bike?

We are so glad you asked! Fairfax County has an online interactive Bicycle Map that can help you find the best routes for your destination. It has different routes that range from most comfortable to least comfortable. You can also take your e-bike out onto Fairfax County park trails. Make sure you stay on the path!

bike map screenshot, find out more at the link provided


I am not sure if I want to buy one, how would I be able to try one out?

If you are not ready to commit, and would rather try one out for the day, you have options! In 2020, Capital Bikeshare launched e-bikes across the region and added a second model in 2023. In Fairfax County, you can find these bikes in circulation around Franconia/Springfield, Merrifield, Tysons, and Reston, with more bikeshare stations to come! This is a great option for residents that remain on the fence, or if you simply don’t want to use one every day. 

A Capital Bikeshare company bicycle rental station near White House. This is one of many stations in DC where customers rent bikes conveniently using an app.

Learn More

Climate Matters is the blog of Fairfax County’s Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, where we share stories, insights and information related to climate change and environmental sustainability. Posts are written by knowledgeable and passionate OEEC staff members and guest authors. To read all blog posts, visit Climate Matters.

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