I saw this clip on PBS tonight and thought it was a fair assessment of E-Bikes. Like she said, you shouldn’t just buy one and start flying thru traffic right away. I suggest people rent one first and try it out. Also, batteries can catch fire, but as she explains it has to do with mix and matching with after market chargers and batteries. She is also correct that they have become very affordable. There are so many sales going on right now you can easily find an E-Bike that will go 28 MPH for $1,200.
Like any emerging technologies there are pros and cons. Remember 3-Wheel ATV’s?
As she suggests, no matter what kind of bike you ride, it comes down to your speed, total weight (you+bike) and stopping time.