The Amish communities in the US abstain from modern technology like cars, cellphones, and the internet. However, there is one modern invention that has gained acceptance and even enthusiasm among them: the e-bike.
According to Cycling Weekly, each Amish church has the autonomy to decide which modern technologies are acceptable. There is no central governing body for all Amish communities.
Whenever a new technology emerges, its impact on the church and community is carefully evaluated. The technology should not intrude into their homes, but rather serve the social goals and purposes of the group.
As a result, the Amish often adapt and repurpose technology to align with their communal beliefs. And this means that some of today’s Amish are dumping horses and buggies for e-bikes.
David Mullet is a member of the Old Order Amish Church and the owner of an e-bike store in Holmes County, Ohio. Holmes County is home to a significant Amish population.
In a recent interview, Mullet explained how e-bikes have opened up new possibilities for the Amish. The e-bikes save time and daylight when commuting to work or running errands.
Compared to bringing out the horse, harnessing it to a buggy, and setting off, e-bikes provide a quicker and faster means of travel.
E-bikes are gradually gaining popularity within the Amish world. In Millersburg, Ohio (which is within Holmes County), a Reddit contributor spotted a nearly full e-bike charging station earlier this year.
Although e-bikes do use electricity, they are consistent with the Amish value of self-sufficiency.
Since e-bikes have small batteries, they only require small amounts of energy. An e-bike requires about 95% less electricity to fully recharge than an electric car does.
Therefore, e-bikes can be powered by local, small-scale solar arrays. These solar arrays allow the Amish to maintain their independence from the outside world.
It’s important to note that the traditional horse and buggy will remain a significant part of Amish life. Nonetheless, the growing sales of e-bikes indicate a shift towards motorized bicycles being used for cycling and transportation.
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