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Old Posted Jun 16, 2013, 7:08 PM
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Is the time finally right for electric bikes?

Is the time finally right for electric bikes?


June 14, 2013

By Hamish McKenzie

Read More: http://pandodaily.com/2013/06/14/is-...lectric-bikes/

Quote:
.....

Why aren’t these bikes more prevalent in the US? How come the Chinese can see the benefit in these more environmentally-friendly vehicles but the US can’t?

- Electric bikes are normal in China, more popular than actual cars. In 2012, according to a Mackenzie Wood report cited by Bloomberg, 180 million electric bikes were on the road by the end of last year. By contrast, China sold about 19 million cars in 2012. They’re popular in Europe, too. Electric bike companies sell about 380,000 bikes there per year, and 175,000 in the Netherlands alone, according to figures cited by Yale’s 360 website.

- In the US, a country of 314 million people, the metrics aren’t so hot. The latest figures show that 89,000 electric bikes were sold in the country in 2011, but manufacturers have anecdotally reported an uptick since then, which likely puts total annual sales closer to 100,000. Whether it be because of over-reliance on cars, a lack of bike-friendly infrastructure, or a lack of bike-riding culture, Americans appear to have remained largely resistant to the idea of two-wheeled transport.

- Still, a few startups are betting that electric bikes have a big future in the country. Carwash mogul Don DiCostanzo, for instance, has started Los Angeles-based Pedego, which sells stylish battery-powered bikes that can go for 20 miles on a single charge. Google was so taken with the bikes that it decided to offer its employees subsidized use of the vehicles for getting around its campus.

- One of Pedego’s competitors is Boston-based Evelo, founded by brothers Boris and Yevgeniy Mordkovich. Boris Mordkovich, a Lithuanian who started the design e-bikes company after having worked for microloans platform Kiva and then as part of the launch team of RelayRides, had seen how popular the electric bikes were in Europe and decided someone needed to make them succeed in the US.

- Electric bike proponents must also take encouragement from the rise of bike-sharing programs, such as New York’s Citibike and Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare, which have not only put thousands of bikes into circulation in some of the country’s most populated areas, but which also demand a transport infrastructure that is amenable to two-wheeled vehicles (as in, lots of bike lanes). “We see it as a really good development, because in general electric bikes typically thrive in the same communities and the same cities where bikes are popular,” says Evelo’s Mordkovich.

- However, there remain significant problems that may ultimately hold back the spread of electric bikes in this country for a while yet. American roads are crowded and big, and are still short on bike lanes. Having to detach and charge a battery might prove too much of an inconvenience for people who prefer a simple hop-on/hop-off experience. And having such an expensive piece of machinery parked in the open provides an incentive for enterprising thieves. The cost itself, of course – $2,000 and up – is enough to turn many people off, even if they would easily save that amount in reduced gas and maintenance costs as a result of not using their cars so much. There’s also the challenge that the US is home to a very car-centric culture.

- What’s perhaps more important, however, is fashion. For all the same reasons that electric bikes are becoming more viable, electric cars in the US are starting to find real traction among consumers. Elon Musk’s Tesla provides a prime example. Rated by Consumer Reports as one of the best cars it has ever reviewed, the Tesla Model S has helped shift consumer perceptions of electric cars out of the “curious” zone and into the “must have” category. Tesla’s share price has more than tripled in the last few months alone, and the fledgling company now has a market cap of more than $11 billion.

.....



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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2013, 7:28 PM
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Electric powered bikes probably don't sell well in the USA for the same reason mopeds don't! Just a motor over a few horsepower for street running requires a drivers license. That also means insurance.

To avoid mandatory insurance and license requirements it'll need to be off-road use, and most dirt bikes use gasoline fuels.
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2013, 7:53 PM
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Maybe that's just a US thing, because in some places you don't need insurance or a license, like in Canada.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2013, 4:38 AM
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still no hoverboards, i might have to get a electric bike
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2013, 4:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Maybe that's just a US thing, because in some places you don't need insurance or a license, like in Canada.
Yes but it's about these devices in the US, not Canada. So the questions in the blog have been answered and resolved. Why is it not popular in the US?

- Not permitted in bicycle lanes
- Liability
- Stuck in motorized vehicle traffic jams and in more danger
- The benefits of exercise from bicycling are becoming more important to people.

Electric bicycles may make sense in suburban / rural environments or hilly regions where you may not want to show up sweaty at your destination. But in big cities you'll be stuck behind exhaust pipes while people on conventional bicycles cruise by you in rush hour traffic. Unless of course, you live in California.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2013, 6:51 PM
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It's better to get a regular bike that has the optional electric motor so you can have the best of both worlds, and lanes too.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2013, 7:02 PM
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Really though, why don't bike commuters in the USA use electric bikes more? It just seems to make sense.
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Old Posted Jun 22, 2013, 1:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dabom View Post
still no hoverboards, i might have to get a electric bike
Do they still have a electric bikes in Arizona? I am not quite sure if I can get one. Does anybody know about a specific price?
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Old Posted Jun 22, 2013, 1:55 AM
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I'm jealous that the US seemingly has higher restrictions on electric bikes. I goddamn hate e-bikes. As someone who is mostly a cyclist, but also a pedestrian, public transit user and occasional driver the things are just the worst. Mostly as a cyclist. They are slow, unwieldy and take up too much room to pass, even on streets with bike lanes. Most people using them don't follow traffic laws and cut off people and cars constantly. It's annoying when regular bikes do this but e-bikes are twice the size and way harder to stop. I wish they were banned in Toronto and make every effort to block the path of one I come across, whether biking or driving.

Maybe in the burbs they would be ok. But in the inner city they need to be regulated.
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Old Posted Jun 22, 2013, 5:11 AM
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Is the time finally right for e-bikes? Apparently not.

/thread
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Old Posted Jun 22, 2013, 5:27 AM
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Electric bikes are legal in my city, and I see them all the time. Not really a big deal, but great for older folks or people pulling large loads on their cargo bikes/up hills.

We even have a bike shop dedicated to selling them:

http://ebikestore.com/

like this guy (more of a city bike):

image courtesy ofhttp://pdxebiker.blogspot.com/

FYI, they are speed & power limited, so you can't really go that fast. And you have to pedal them.

Also, you guys don't have moped gangs in your cities like mine??? Whats that about???


image courtesy oregonlive.com
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Old Posted May 22, 2018, 10:36 PM
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5 years later. It's time!

The time is finally here, at least in the US of A. Affordable and reliable ebikes have arrived, for example, swagtron ebikes: https://swagtron.com/ebike/
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Old Posted May 23, 2018, 12:58 AM
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In the US laws vary by state but in general the ebikes discussed in the article don't require licensing or insurance as long as they aren't over 750w, the motor doesn't assist over 20mph and it has working peddles allowing it to be used as a bike rather than just motor driven. And they are generally allowed in bike lanes and anywhere else a regular bike is allowed. There are a few jurisdictions with more restrictions but overall the US is actually less restrictive than Europe where there's a limit of 250w motor.
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Old Posted May 23, 2018, 4:34 AM
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I've got a Haibike sDuro Cross and really enjoy it. Most casual observers would not realize that it has electric assist.
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Old Posted May 23, 2018, 5:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
In the US laws vary by state but in general the ebikes discussed in the article don't require licensing or insurance as long as they aren't over 750w, the motor doesn't assist over 20mph and it has working peddles allowing it to be used as a bike rather than just motor driven. And they are generally allowed in bike lanes and anywhere else a regular bike is allowed. There are a few jurisdictions with more restrictions but overall the US is actually less restrictive than Europe where there's a limit of 250w motor.
750 Watts is the equivalent of approximately 1 Horsepower.
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Old Posted May 25, 2018, 1:00 PM
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The bike share coming to Raleigh this year, Citrix Cycle, will feature all bicycles with electric-assist (Pedelec) motors. With these, there is no restrictions about using them in bike lanes or anything.
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Old Posted May 25, 2018, 3:24 PM
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i fully support anything that gets more out on people on bicycles.

that said, my daily bike commute is my daily exercise regimen, so i'd rather do all the work myself.

it helps me burn off all of those extra pizza and beer calories.
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Old Posted May 25, 2018, 3:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i fully support anything that gets more out on people on bicycles.

that said, my daily bike commute is my daily exercise regimen, so i'd rather do all the work myself.

it helps me burn off all of those extra pizza and beer calories.
It's food trucks and beer for me but otherwise I concur.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2018, 7:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fflint View Post
Is the time finally right for e-bikes? Apparently not.

/thread
I also agree with your answer.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2018, 3:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i fully support anything that gets more out on people on bicycles.

that said, my daily bike commute is my daily exercise regimen, so i'd rather do all the work myself.

it helps me burn off all of those extra pizza and beer calories.

Riding a bike is barely even exercise in a flat city like Chicago, Detroit, etc. Unless you sprint into a headwind, your heart rate isn't rising higher than walking.

I live on one of the big hills in Cincinnati and even here on a 15%+ grade with a low gear you can pedal pretty slowly and avoid getting your heart rate up to 150bpm.

My point: bike commuting is better than nothing but isn't rigorous exercise. Bike commuting alone, unless your commute is 10+ miles per day and involves some hills, isn't going to keep you in great shape.
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