Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Electric Bikes

There are a few electric motorcycles out there. They make a whole lot more sense than the electric cars out there, but are just too scary to seem likely to catch on with the general public.

Electric bikes though, now there is a good idea. They are cheap enough that they make a reasonable substitute for a bike. Unlike electric cars, which force people to live with limited range for their car, electric bikes increase the reasonable range of bikes. A bike is a lot of work; with an electric bike though, I could be environmentally friendly and lazy at the same time!

Electric motors are a whole lot more efficient at using electricity than muscles are at using food. So a reasonable case can actually be made that an electric bike is more energy efficient than a conventional bike.Since conventional bikes are amazingly energy efficient, that really is saying something.

They can even be made to recharge in a few hours off of a modest solar panel!

It sounds like they have had a lot of legal trouble though with conventional bicyclists, and pedestrian advocates arguing against them. For example, in California it is not legal to ride one on a bike trail.  A shame, hopefully they don't get killed by regulation. The electric bikes are much less of a hazard to people on bike trails, than cars on roads are to riders of electric bikes.

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