Bike-to-Work Day just passed, and it’s possible you never actually got on your bike. No doubt you wanted to. You probably thought about it but maybe you were worried about traffic or you live in a city with hills. Or maybe you just wanted to be able to arrive at work or school without looking like a sweaty mess.
We get it. Maybe a regular bike isn’t for you. But… how about an electric bike? E-bikes, electric bicycles, or plain old mopeds, electric-powered two-wheelers seem to be the next big thing.
Electric bikes are regular bicycles but with a motor attached for when you need an extra boost. They’ve been popular in Europe forever. Now they’re slowly making in-roads in car-happy America. They’re a great way to go green. You get the versatility of knowing you can pump on your own when it makes sense to do so and turn on the power when you need a little something extra.
E-bikes are growing in popularity as many amateur cyclists attempt to venture ever further on their two-wheelers.Bicycle Retailer notes, “Best Buy will be piloting electric-powered personal transportation products at some of our stores on the West Coast later this spring,” said Paula Baldwin, senior manager for Best Buy public relations. Currie Technologies will be stocking Best Buy with six different Izip models, ranging in price from $499-$2,000. The Southern California-based company will also provide Best Buy with two electric scooters at $299 and $599, according to Currie president Larry Pizzi. “There could be a larger rollout as we approach this holiday season,” Pizzi said.
They may not be cheap, but with the current state of the economy, it’s surprising there isn’t more excitement surrounding the new crop of E-Bikes on the market. The A2B, for example, costs 16 cents per mile according to Ultra Motor, versus nearly a dollar per mile for a typical car. The power lasts for up to 20 miles at a cruising speed of 20 mph, and it’ll drive up hills without you breaking a sweat.
Here are a couple other popular models to consider:
The 61-pound Elegance gets a range of 25 miles in pedal-assist mode. An on-off switch turns on the motor when you need a little extra help. For more juice, crank on the throttle. The bike goes up to 20 mph and, like the HG1000 has a removable battery. $1680.
Twist Freedom DX
Wired calls this 63-pounder from Giant the “most modern, integrated and attractive pedal-assist electric bike on the market.” Unlike many others, though, it has no throttle. To get power, you have to pedal. The motor has three settings — Economy, Normal, and Sport — so you can adjust how much help you want. Unlike many electric bikes which stash the battery in the middle of the bike where a water bottle might usually go, the Twist Freedom puts its batteries in rear-mounted saddle-bags. $2,250.
Electric bicycles and scooters can ease congestion, are pleasant to ride, plus they are classified as zero-emission vehicles. Good for the environment and great if you tend to be lazy (or don’t want to work on fitness 24/7). Might be time to check these babies out.
(h/t to goodcleantech.com)