Climate change artist–Ben Von Wong, plus Deloitte predicted E-Bike popularity. A Canadian tech firm gifts e-bikes to its employees, and listener call to action!
Climate Artist–Ben Von Wong, Deloitte Predicted E-Bike Popularity, Canadian Tech Firm Gifts E-Bikes to Employees, Listener Call to Action!
DELOITTE PREDICTED RISE IN POPULARITY OF E-BIKES
I recently read a study conducted by Deloitte, a management consulting firm, about E-Bikes. In 2019, Deloitte predicted strong growth globally for e-bikes during 2020–2022, as e-bikes present a faster, easier, and healthier option for commuting. However, the company’s analysis revealed that annual e-bike sales in North America and Europe (combined total) nearly doubled from 2018 to reach an estimated 6.4 million in 2021.
During 2020–21, total e-bike sales in the United States grew 26% year over year, and 22% in Europe. One hypothesis is that in the wake of COVID-19, factors such as personal health, well-being, and social distancing have likely made e-bikes even more attractive. Deloitte’s research also shows more interest in people looking to cut personal commute time, especially over short distances. As reported here on The Climate Daily, according to a 2021 study, some 60% of trips in the United States were five miles or fewer—a distance easy to cover on a bike.
As congestion in cities rises, existing transportation —cars, buses, trains — can’t keep up with the growing population. Americans lose an average of 99 hours a year due to traffic congestion, according to the 2019 INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, and in 2019, traffic cost Americans roughly $88B, or an average of almost $1,400 per driver. Drivers in London, Paris, and Brussels lost 130–150 hours due to congestion.
Finally, the rising cost of gasoline may be fueling e-bike growth in the United States and Europe.10 With global uncertainty lingering even after the pandemic, e-bikes seem to represent an attractive, environmentally responsible, short-distance commute option. It’s not just personal e-bikes. Cargo e-bike sales, as well as e-bike rentals swung sharply upward, too. Why does the rise in e-bikes matter to us?
A lot of data is generated when e-bike riders use apps to track and share their activities—especially if they’re using municipal rentals. Tech software and analytics companies can capitalize on these datasets to perform advanced analytics and make them available for broader uses like urban planning efforts and tracking sustainability goals for smart city development.
CANADIAN TECH FIRM GIFTS E-BIKES TO ITS EMPLOYEES
Speaking of e-bikes Northern Commerce, a London, Ontario, Canada-based tech firm, decided last week to gift 50 of its employees with e-bikes! According to an article in Yahoo! News, Northern Commerce’s senior vice president Andrew McClenaghan said, “We’re running out of room for cars, we can’t widen the roads anymore and even if we do they just fill up with cars so it’s a never ending problem. This can actually solve for it.”
McClenaghan says he believes the e-bikes can be a game changer in helping to combat climate change. He says the bikes serve as a multi-functional tool and a second-car replacement, especially with rising fuel prices and the heavy impact of automobiles on the climate. “It can really replace all those short car trips. Most car trips are within eight to 10 minutes and this e-bike, with the cargo capability it has, can help people change their habits.”
McClenaghan developed a love for e-bikes during the pandemic when he used them for exercise and running errands, and hasn’t looked back since. He said.”I was amazed at what a game changer — having a little bit of extra power when you’re pedalling — made for me and my lifestyle, and I started using it in my day to day.” The gift was also as a ‘thank you’ gesture for the staffers who stuck around in 2020 when the company merged with his former business, Digital Echidna.
Why does Northern Commerce’s largesse matter to me? According to McClenaghan said, “Our philosophy is that the more bikes that are out on the streets, it’s going to have a snowball effect and we’ll see more and more of these in our city.”
CANADIAN CLIMATE CHANGE ARTIST, BEN VON WONG
Canadian artist/climate activist, Ben Von Wong recently unveiled the latest of his art sculpture installations at Miami International Airport. It’s part of the #turnofftheplastictap campaign. According to his website, Von Wong is an Artist focused on amplifying positive impact. His mission is to help make positive impact unforgettable. You must check out his artwork at VonWong.com. His art targets three main areas of waste—ocean plastics, fast fashion and electronic waste.
Perhaps Von Wong’s most photographed sculpture to date is that of a giant faucet floating three stories up in mid-air, spewing three tons of plastic waste onto the ground below. Called, “Giant Plastic Tap,” it was erected outside the gathering of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi, Kenya last March. 1,500 delegates from over 90 countries met there to commit to a legally binding treaty forcing companies to be responsible for the entire life cycle of all plastics.
Von Wong mined the six thousand pounds of plastic waste from Kibera, a Nairobi slum plagued by plastic pollution to build the sculpture. For most of his installations, Von Wong uses locally-sourced recyclable material. He employs locals to help build the sculptures, and donates the money raised from the campaign to nonprofits working to combat climate change.
For the Nairobi sculpture, they employed locals through the Human Needs Project. Money raised from the Miami campaign is going to climate non-profit organizations like Bye Bye Plastic Life. Why do the works of Ben Von Wong matter to us? They shock the senses awake to the enormous problem of plastic, fashion and e-waste by framing the problem in gorgeous, culturally familiar artistic metaphors. His works demonstrate that art can make a difference in the battle against climate change.
THE CLIMATE DAILY LISTENER CALL OUT CHALLENGE
Recently, one of our listeners shared her story of how listening to the climate daily helped her deal so well with her climate change overwhelm, that she got out and started working with the local community based group. Then she challenged us to ask you all to share any stories you might have of how listening to the climate daily might have inspired you into action, so we can share them with the world.
Remember, we’re all about sharing stories of people taking positive action to combat climate change. And that’s you listeners. You can hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at #wetheclimate or Jeffrey at The Climate dot org or Maude at The Climate dot org, also.