Electric Bike makers are having a field day. As gasoline prices go up, so do their sales. From the mountain tops of Colorado to Europe people are wanting to “get a little fresh air and exercise, and cut my carbon footprint, and spend less money on gas.”
Electric bikes work like a regular two-wheel one except they have a battery-powered assist. The Gluskin-Townley Group says sales last year were up 67% over 2006. A NYC dealer says sales are up 50%. Amazon.com says sales surged more than 6000% in July from a year earlier. Of course, that number could have been quite low last year, skewing these figures.
Last year some 89,000 electric bikes were sold in the Netherlands and 60,000 in Germany.
The principle behind electric bikes is akin to that behind hybrid cars: Combine the conventional technology — in this case, old-fashioned pedaling — with a battery-powered motor.
The net result is a vehicle that rides a bit like a scooter, with some legwork required. Most models have a motorcycle-like throttle that gives a boost while going up hills or accelerating from a stop. On some models, the motor kicks in automatically and adjusts its torque based on how hard the rider pedals.
Prices range from $1,400 – 2,525 and can go 20 miles before a recharge for about 10 cents. Let’s see, 20 miles on a gallon of gas at $5 or on a bike for 1o cents. Tough choice…..NOT!
Electric bike anyone?