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Electric Scooters

Electric Scooters

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Published by angryalbino1
Electric bike kit.
Electric bike kit.

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Published by: angryalbino1 on Nov 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/27/2014

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w t
Electric ikes and Scooters
Hop on one of these fun machinesand never buy gas again
By
 Bill
 Moore
 
hen Caria Graeff runs er-rands in her suburbanMaryland community justoutside of Washington. D.C, she doesn'tfire up the family Volvo. Instead, shehops on her eGO electric scooter. Whatit lacks in creature comforts compared totlic family car, it makes up for in muchlower operating costs. And it does haveair conditioning—the 20 mph in-your-face kind.GraefF's eGO doesn't have pedals.Instead, her feet rest on the battery boxihat propels the machine at speeds upto
 4
 mph. Its 24-volt lead-acid batter-ies give it a working range of 10 to 13miles. She typically drives it five or sixmiles on quiet, shady side streets whilerunning errands, carrying what she buysin the wire basket mounted on the rearof the scooter.In Iceland, gas costs the equivalentof about 6.50 a gallon. So tour guideFridrik Brekkan commutes around hishometown, Hafnarfjordur, west ofReykjavik, on a Chinese-made electricscooter. He calculates he pays the equiva-lent of 25 cents to go 60 kilometers (37.8miles), compared to 16 for the samedistance in his Land Rover.Meanwhile, here on the Great Plains ofNebraska, I regularly ride my TidalForceM-750 electric-assist bike to the bank andpost office, and even to shop for .smallitems at the grocery store.Carla, Fridrik and I have discoveredthe (literally) quiet joys of e-riding abouttown, and were not alone. Increasingly,people looking for affordable alternativesto increasing gas prices are consideringbicycles and motor scooters. Most bikessold today are the conventional, pedal-yourself kind, and most scooter sales areof thcgas-fuclcd variety. But a handtul ofelectric bikes and scooters are available,with more coming soon, so you now haveoptions for fast, fun,
 gtis Jive
 transporta-tion. The market for electric two- andthree-wheelers is promising, but it's alsostill young and volatile — buyers shouldfocus on quality, experts say.
 
www.MotherEarthNews.com April/May 2007 I 17
 
greentransportation
OF PEDELECS AND
 E BIKES
There are two types ofelectric-assist bicycles: pe-delecs and e-bikes. On apedelec, you have topedal to aaivate theelectric
 assist;
 on ane-bike, you don't.Pedelecs are es-sentially a Japaneseand European in-vention. There, gov-ernments require thatthe rider must operate thepedals before electric-assist be-comes available, and they limit the elearicmotor's power to 250 watts. This
 is
 a com-mon-sense safety precaution where ridersmix with both automotive traffic andother cyclists in congested urban centers.The United States has no such regulationregarding pedals, and our limit on elec-trie-assist power is 750 watts; 500 watts inCanada. (For more information on federaland state regulations ofe-rides, see TheFine Print, Page 122.)The more powerRil the motor, the lesspedaling you have to do, especially on hills.But power gains bring weight gains, and an
e bike
 often weighs two or three times asmuch as a conventional bicycle, especiallyif it uses inexpensive but heavy lead-acidbatteries. More and more e-bikes and kits
Electric bikes such as Giant's Suede Edon't replace human power; they amplify it.
are now using powerful andlightweight, but moreexpensive, lithium-ion batteries.FJectric-assistbikes come in abewildering arrayof makes, modelsand, importantly,quality. Experts em-phasize to not expectcheap electric bikes (somecost less than $500) to be reliable overthe long term.Many industry experts lament the floodof cheap Asian elearic bikes and scooterson the marker. T hey have driven someof the more reputable, quality-conscious §manufacturers out of business, leavingssome early buyers high and dr\'. A prime gexample is WaveCrest Libs, builder of my
 
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118 MOTHER EARTH NEWS April/May 2007
Circle #64; see card pg 169
 
gr ntr nsport tion
Tame appearance, wild power: a Phoenix electricconversion kit from Crystalyte drives this Giant bike
e-bike, the TidalForce. The company an-nounced last year it would abandon rhec-bike business. Betore thai. Ford's short-lived Think electric vehicle division brieflysold e-bikes before pulling out of the mar-ket. And the
 f t
oH £e Iacocca's EV GlobalE-Bike line remains clouded, according toindustry Insiders.
So,
 the first rule when shopping for ane-bike: Go for quality, defined here as per-formance, reliability and workmanship. Itwill cost more in ti;illv, but will be worth irin the long run. The second rule: Select amanufacturer with
 
good track record whoappears likely to stand behind its productwith parts and service over the life of themachine. For several years, Giantoneof the world's hu^est bicycle manufacrur-
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www.MotherEarthNews.com April/May 2007

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