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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Electric Bicycles

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  • This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of electric bicycles, their current usage in global transportation, and how many CO2 equivalent emissions could be reduced if electric bike usage continues to grow.
  • Students will learn that electric bikes have a motor that makes it easier to travel long distances, electric bikes have higher emissions than a regular bicycle, most electric bike usage is in China, and over a gigaton of carbon emissions could be prevented if electric bike use increases.
Teaching Tips


  • This article does an excellent job of explaining how electric bikes can reduce emissions without too much technical language, making it easier for students to comprehend.
  • This article also talks about the health benefits of riding bikes.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to understand the importance of carbon sequestration and how emissions from cars and other forms of transportation contribute to climate change.
  • The link in the reference section does not work but it's not necessary to analyze this article.


  • To engage students in the reading and assess prior knowledge, the teacher can ask students about their prior experience, if any, with e-bikes or bicycles in general.
  • This resource pairs well with another Project Drawdown article titled Bicycle Infrastructure, or other articles found on the Table of Solutions.
  • Teachers can ask students to list the times they used a car or other forms of transportation that week, then highlight all the trips that could have been achieved using an electric bicycle or regular bicycle.
  • This article can support a lesson on various methods of reducing urban/suburban greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from combustion engines.
  • The paper is in a scientific paper format, so science classes can use this as an example of this type of writing for labs, experiments, or as practice before reading more lengthy papers.
Scientist Notes
This article discusses the benefits of increased electronic bicycle (e-bike) use. Specifically, the change in global carbon dioxide emissions is calculated for different amounts of e-bike use, as well as the cost of implementing these changes. The article is organized similar to a scientific paper in the way it breaks down this climate solution into an introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. These make this resource a good example of how scientific articles are often structured. Resources are included. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • D2.Eco.3.9-12 Analyze the ways in which incentives influence what is produced and distributed in a market system.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
      • 2.12.6 Evaluate the impact of technology on personal, family, and community health.
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