The Amish are known for their simple, tech-free lifestyle, but now they've got a new ride, and it's not horse-drawn. It's the electric bike, aka the e-bike. Contrary to popular belief, every Amish community has the freedom to choose what technology they use, as long as it doesn't disrupt their way of life.
The official tourism site for Lancaster, Pennsylvania — home of numerous Amish communities — explains this nuance best.
"When a new technology comes along, its effect on the church and community is examined," the tourism site states. "The technology should not be an intrusion into the home, but rather serve the social purposes and goals of the group. With that in mind, the Amish often re-purpose the technology, in a sense, to align with their community beliefs."
David Mullett, a member of the Old Order Amish Church in Ohio, has an e-bike shop that doesn't rely on the power grid, but runs entirely on solar energy. His reasoning? It's just a lot quicker to jump on an e-bike than to saddle up a horse and hitch a buggy.
One commenter says, "I live near an Amish community. Their problem with electricity is being connected to the 'grid' and not a refusal to use electricity. They use solar, generators, and batteries to store it. Then they use inverters to change it back for use in lights etc. They just still don't trust the 'English' folks."