Is it ebike or e-bike?
To hyphenate or not to hyphenate ebike; that is the question…
So what should we use when referring to ebikes? Are they e-bikes with a hyphen between the ‘e’ and ‘b’ or ebike with no hyphen at all?
Firstly let’s take a look at why the ‘e’ is there. We don’t want to state the obvious but the ‘e’ in front of ebike stands for ‘electric’.
You’ll find a large mix of the use of e-bike and ebike across the internet, sites, brands and manufacturers.
You may even find some places putting a space between the ‘e’ and the ‘b’ like this: e bike
…but everyone knows that’s not right 🙂
Is it ebike or e-bike on reputable sites?
Dictionary.com goes with e-bike with a hyphen and no use of ebike without.
Cambridge Dictionary also goes for e-bike with a hyphen.
Wikipedia calls them an electric bicycle then brackets both e-bike and ebike, covering all bases.
They don’t refer to them as an electric bike though.
There’s added confusion in that point, as electric motorbikes are also referred to as an electric bike but never as an ebike!
Bad news for scrabble players as ‘ebike’ is NOT a valid scrabble word… not yet anyway 🙂
How about that for confusing?
But this is an age old dilemma, where motorbikes or motorcycles can be called bikes, but also bicycles can be called bikes.
This means that when people say bike they could mean push bike / bicycle or they could mean motorbike or motorcycle.
What we know for sure is ebike is always used when referring to an electric bicycle not an electric motorbike (check out our article on the difference between ebikes and electric motorbikes here for more on this subject), so let’s get back onto the hyphen subject…
We’re fans of ebike (no hyphen)
We use ebike without the hyphen across our website on Electric Two and our reason is this:
Do you put a hyphen in email anymore?
Nope, neither do we.
When words are first established a hyphen is often used. Email was commonly written with a hyphen to identify the shortening of a word, hence electronic mail was shortened to e-mail.
However, as the word becomes more established in language and used more commonly, the hyphen becomes surplus to requirements, as everyone knows what you’re talking about!
It’s extremely difficult to establish which is more commonly used between ebike and e-bike as search engines see the two versions of the word as the same.
Therefore we look to previous cases of where electric or electronic have been shortened with an ‘e’ and hyphened to see that, after time, the hyphen is dropped.
The short answer here is, actually both ebike and e-bike are correct and acceptable.
You can use e-bike or ebike.
You could use electric bicycle to be really clear.
You could use electric bike but people may think you mean electric motorbike.
We’re sticking with ebike, it’s going to be that eventually so be an early adopter and drop the superfluous hyphen, we all know what you mean.
So let’s not beat around the bush, drop the hyphen and let’s put ebike in its rightful place as one word in the English language, without the need for a hyphen as we all know it stands for electric bike.
What electric bike means is of course another debate…