E-Bikes: Boom or Bust in North America http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ Will we see an e-bike boom in the near future? en-us <function copyright at 0x5374848> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 15:00:56 GMT whoa ]]> http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ b03fa9f0-f0be-11e2-a514-1231394043be Fri, 19 Jul 2013 15:00:56 GMT Getting ready for e-bikes http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ 3c67137e-7021-11e2-828f-1231394043be Tue, 05 Feb 2013 21:51:22 GMT remove restriction, do not add them
There are no studies or statistics to show scooter-styled ebikes are any more or less dangerous than regular styled ebikes, or even regular bicycles, either to themselves, pedestrians, or other bicycle riders. This is usually the ruse that cyclists use to remove ebikes from their bike lanes and trails because ebikes threaten the cyclists traditional privileged position, not from any real safety concerns. ]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ 03ad006c-6ef9-11e2-b136-1231394043be Mon, 04 Feb 2013 10:30:56 GMT
E-bikes This industry is, at least in the U.S., still in its youth, if not infancy. E-bikes could not make it past the laugh test prior to the invention and development of modern, reliable, lightweight and high performance batteries and electric motors. The e-bicycle industry must mature this technology with better integrated designs that are attractive enough to get people out of their cars; given the low cost of gasoline and car-centric culture of the US, that is a daunting task. At present, even the “lightest” of these bikes is ponderous by any measure compared to a normal human powered bike of equal cost, meaning that in any but dead flat locations, one will indeed be dependent on the electric power a lot. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, although the physical fitness benefits of cycling will be largely missing.

Second, you intend the market of the e-bike to be for potential, not current riders, as an alternative to the car. While the exchange of a car for an electric bicycle is laudable in terms of its drastically reduced carbon footprint and storage space requirements in the built environment, an e-bike is still a bicycle, subject to all the forces of gravity, friction, and momentum and completely lacking in air bags and crumple zones. New riders riding a bike that can reach high bicycle speeds (15-20 mph) with little or no training in bike handling nor any bicycling experience will be at elevated risk until they master the new vehicle. So will the rest of us sharing facilities with them. Please ensure that your efforts to encourage e-bike use for non-cyclists is matched by an effort to make sure these folks learn some basic bike handling skills and bike law. Especially if, as you say, they will be riding in hilly areas capable of pushing that bike to high downhill speeds. There are enough bikes collecting dust in garages now, put there after naive riders took a bad spill.

Finally, while you criticize government regulation for hindering development, we must be sure that e-bikes, especially those intended for use on bicycle facilities, look and act more like bicycles instead of electric mopeds; designs and regulation should be standardized enough to allow a manufacturer to sell in all fifty states. Designs, if intended to be used on bicycling facilities, should not put human powered bicycling at risk. Again, since these will be intended for general purpose transportation, some concerns must be given for providing Federally-standardized safety features such as speed limiters, brakes, lighting and even perhaps fenders to keep crud off of their lighting surfaces. Currently, the laws regulating safety equipment on bicycles are designed for the bicycle as a toy, for example, the CPSC mandated all reflector rule. The resulting crazy quilt of bicycling equipment leads to cyclists taking senseless risks with their lives when riding at night or in inclement weather.

As a longtime utilitarian as well as sport cyclist (I started riding to work in 1978 and only later started riding for endurance and sport), I welcome this new development and hope for better, lighter designs as the technology matures.
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http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ 3d4e5704-650c-11e2-a448-1231394043be Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:23:21 GMT
Re: Bust -- Sorry, but Bust.
1. E-bikes would be good beyond just hilly areas. As the authors mention, there are people out there who don't bike because it's just a little too far/hard/sweaty to ride to work/store/etc. E-bikes could potentially increase the pool of riders willing to bike regularly, and any increase in visible cyclists on the road helps to grow the idea of bicycling as transportation in the mind of the general public. It might be nice to see some e-bikes added to the bike-share fleets sprouting up around North America.

2. I've seen e-bikes in Europe that have no throttle. They are 100% pedal-assist. The harder you pedal, the more power they give you. This prevents using them like an electric scooter.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ c948cf86-60c6-11e2-b63f-1231394043be Thu, 17 Jan 2013 08:56:06 GMT
Bust -- Sorry, but Bust. (1) e-Bikes desperately need special legal definition and regularity between states and municipalities. Currently, it's all over the place.
(2) Steel and aluminum bikes are almost 100% (by weight) recyclable. e-Bikes require battery pollution and the energy required to charge the e-bike comes with varying pollution issues.
(3) e-Bikes are extremely expensive by comparison to normal bikes.
(4) e-Bikes do not provide the beneficial calorie burning that normal bikes do.

The only thing e-bikes are good for is helping people who live in hilly areas. Those areas need to be the bastions of e-bike marketing investment.

Suggestion: Develop the e-bike drive so that one must be pedaling to receive power. Otherwise, it's easily arguable as a scooter and thus can be argued to be a motor vehicle.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ aa5e8236-5e9c-11e2-a635-1231394043be Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:49:34 GMT
price matters http://momentummag.com/features/e-bikes-boom-or-bust-in-north-america/ 16b3d948-5e9a-11e2-98c1-1231394043be Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:31:07 GMT