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What's an Ebike Library?

What's an Ebike Library?

Ebike libraries are innovative programs providing electric bike access to a wide range of users, similar to any other lending library. These programs aim to promote sustainable transportation, reduce traffic congestion, encourage physical activity and provide other benefits to community participants.

Ebike libraries can serve a wide range of communities, from citywide programs like Madison Wisconsin (operated by their public library) or they can serve a smaller audience like corporate campus bikes at Nike world HQ. 

No matter the scale, they all serve to widen access to ebikes, create an affordable transportation service for user and library managers alike, and offer new opportunities for community engagement around sustainable transportation.

How it works

Similar to checking out a book, electric bike libraries allow riders to check out a bike and use it for a predetermined amount of time. The key differentiator between an ebike library and a bike share program is that ebike libraries are almost always free for people as long as they’re part of the community the library serves.

Lending requirements vary widely, but riders can expect to provide ID, sign waivers and maybe take a short orientation course prior to their first ride. If checking out an ebike for longer than a day, riders will get a charger and possibly have access to helmets, locks, bags and other key accessories for life on an ebike. 


Ebike libraries strive to make electric bicycles accessible to anyone who can make use of an ebike for transportation. The most important element of this is eliminating the financial barrier associated with owning an electric bicycle, but libraries can also overcome other barriers like storage, maintenance or simply offering test rides for the curious. 

In addition, many ebike libraries are focusing on cargo ebikes, offering improved access to these life-changing vehicles that are not yet common in many areas. 

Ebike libraries provide individuals and families a convenient and affordable way to access electric bicycles, providing the benefits of sustainable transportation to those who may not be ready or able to afford or maintain their own ebike. By allowing wider access, more people can embrace electric bicycles as a viable mode of transportation. 


Electric bicycles can be costly, which can prevent many individuals from making the leap into ebike transportation. Ebike libraries offer an affordable alternative by allowing people to borrow ebikes for short periods at minimal or no cost.

By reducing the financial burden, ebike libraries welcome people to become regular users . The affordability aspect of these libraries plays a crucial role in promoting equitable access to sustainable transportation options. 

Community Engagement

Ebike libraries foster community engagement by creating a shared resource that brings people together. These libraries serve as hubs for individuals who share a common interest in sustainable transportation and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint. They often organize group rides, workshops, and educational programs, providing opportunities for community members to connect, learn, and collaborate. Ebike libraries encourage social interaction and community-building, as they become gathering places for like-minded individuals. Through community engagement, these libraries create a sense of belonging and collective responsibility towards sustainable mobility. They provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and collaborative efforts, enabling communities to collectively work towards a greener future.

Ebike libraries can be instrumental in promoting sustainable transportation and addressing various social and environmental challenges. Through their emphasis on accessibility, affordability, and community engagement, ebike libraries ensure that a wider population can access and benefit from electric bicycles. By reducing financial barriers, these libraries enable individuals from diverse backgrounds to embrace sustainable transportation options without the need for ownership. Moreover, ebike libraries foster community engagement and social interaction, creating spaces where like-minded individuals can connect, learn, and collaborate. These initiatives play a vital role in building more inclusive and environmentally conscious communities.

Ebike library reading list:

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