With gasoline prices surging following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. elected officials are trying everything from gas tax “holidays” to dipping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to placate drivers worried about overstretched budgets. The Biden administration has suggested that long-term salvation lies in dumping gas-powered vehicles entirely: “When we have electric cars powered by clean energy, we will never have to worry about gas prices again,” the White House recently tweeted. “And autocrats like Putin won’t be able to use fossil fuels as weapons against other nations.”
In the meantime, Americans are rediscovering classic fuel-saving habits, like opting for smaller vehicles or taking transit. But one promising approach is all but absent from policy discussions: shifting car trips toward increasingly popular e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, which run on pedal power augmented by rechargeable batteries. It’s an omission that speaks volumes about how underappreciated battery-boosted bicycles remain in Washington, even among the most climate-friendly politicians.