Electric bikes might currently be considered a fun novelty but I am going to explain why electric bikes are actually the best commuter option for those within a 10 ish km range of their place of work.
So you have a job in the city and you live about 10 kms away. You now have to choose what you are going to do for your daily commute. Do you drive like most people in Australia? If you do, you put up with traffic, parking, fuel costs and possibly rego and insurance if this is your second car, it can easily add up to $10,000 a year. Or do you take public transport, it is a cheaper option yes but not always reliable in Australia and it will cost you around $2000 per year for the privilege of being jammed in a carriage/tram like a sardine. The most common reasons people state for not using public transport are no service, no service at the right time, travel time too long and home being too far from the station. Clearly none of these issues apply if you ride a bike (of any kind) to work.
Ok, then do you ride a motorbike (a bit dangerous and expensive) or do you be a hero and ride to work on a push bike. Riding a bike to work is an excellent choice, it is cheap and you get exercise but you have to ask yourself after the initial week of enthusiasm, when you roll out of bed on the next cold Monday morning are you really going to ride to work or just take the tram. Some people will make the effort but most will decide that riding to too much effort and lapse back to public transport or driving, also you are going to need to shower when you get to work (for the sake of your colleges) which adds to the hassle. Remember this is not a fun weekend ride, this is riding to and from work every single day rain, heat or shine and after day 10 that hill on the way back will start to seem like a mountain.
And this...is where the electric bike comes in. A good electric bike will cost you about $2,500 and will give you at least 30 kms of all electric range. What does that mean? It means you can glide for about 30 km in your office clothes, no effort and no sweat. An electric bike will cover 10 kms in about 30 minutes and that means 30 minutes from your office to your front door, no waiting for trains that may or may not come, no traffic, no annoying delays you will be home on time pretty much every time. And if you want exercise, you can always switch off the electric motor and sweat it home.
But what if (horror of horrors) it rains? Again there is a solution with electric bikes. Because you don't actually have to pedal you can wear a raincoat and light waterproof pants (that you might use for hiking) and you won't get sweaty you just glide to work completely waterproof with your office clothes underneath (I can personally attest to this working beautifully), strip the waterproofs off and hey presto you are ready to go.
Riding an electric bike to work is cheaper, more convenient, faster, more reliable and (most importantly) more fun than any other form of transport within about 10 km of your destination (and probably a bit further with the traffic in cities getting worse during peak hour). If you ride one to work you should always pick a safe route (i.e. as much bike path as possible) even if it is a bit further out of your way (a few extra kms are no issue with an e-bike). Once you have a safe route established there is nothing stopping your glorious new electric bike carrying you to and from your work in comfort, past frustrated commuters in traffic jams and gasping sardines on public transport. After your first trip to and from work there is no doubt you will see E-bikes are the best way to commute available today.