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Could e bikes mean faster commutes for regular cyclists?

I know they're the proverbial 'Beelzebub's 2 wheeler' to a lot of cyclists and, unless I got pretty decrepid, wouldn't use one to cycle for the sheer fun of it, but when it comes to commuting, the bike is 'another mode of transport' and, for long commutes, could e bikes cut times?  You can't get away from e bikes at the moment; either in the bike shops, or having one catching up with you on a hill after you overtook it earlier!  There's some pretty smart looking road e bikes and I was reading an article about continental riders who use them for commuting, but then are avid club riders (not on e bikes) at the weekend.

I reckon I can average (commuting) on or above the 25km/h e bike limiter, so by my reckoning an e bike would give you a 'helping hand' on climbs but then the extra weight would be a hindrance on the flat above 25km/h.  Apart from perhaps 'taking the heat' out of climbs, I can't see an e bike reducing commute times significantly unless there was a lot of hills....although you can (illegally) de-limit them!  Of my cycling friends, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to see an e bike appearing in their stable in the near future,  but if, under the 'n+1' mantra, e bikes offered the opportunity to cut cycle commute times, it could be a bonus to the manufacturers as regular cyclists head to buy one.

Sounds like a good test/trial to me.

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