What got you into electric?

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by kriskros » Apr 30, 2017 6:12 pm

1.curiosity...2 challenge. I built a wood two wheeler and a wood three wheller, both powered...3. I can no longer drive,bad eyes :D

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by drew12345 » Apr 30, 2017 6:49 pm

Love biking but have chronic bad back issues and sprained ankle at the time.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Compoundbike » May 04, 2017 1:38 pm

its so quiet.. my bike is a sleeper, which makes a lot of fun:

Race bikers failing to pass.. big eyed other bikers who dont understand (at least in the first moment) why im so fast. :twisted:

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by fechter » May 04, 2017 2:24 pm

I've been doing electric stuff since I was a little kid. I learned to solder when I was 5.

The first e-vehicle I could actually ride was my Zappy scooter back in 1999. I got the Zappy so I could put it in the trunk of my car and ride the last mile to work. No parking within a mile on most days. Parking garage is $28/day.

Of course a stock Zappy is not even close to powerful enough to make it up the hills around here, so I spent a bunch of time modifying it until it could make it.

Amazingly the Zappy is still running and being used by the SF Giants mascot.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by markz » May 04, 2017 8:02 pm

To be quite honest and frank, for awhile there, I wasnt feeling the electric grin factor. Especially over this past winter, and this past fall, summer and spring. I had some other minor things going on in my personal life especially from August that I felt kept my spirits down. Prior to that, I was procrastinating on spending more money on ebike stuff.

Now, since I have done 300km in the past week, getting very little eye balls, only the occasional glance/stare with people seemingly aware there is something different about my bike and my riding since I rarely peddle, well since them 300k's I am happy, got plans for an ebike trip to Vancouver Island, probably take the Greyhound a bit of the ways Kelowna - Van - Vict - then up north. I dont want to bite off more then I can chew. I may go 1200km back to Calgary on e-juice.

What I like about my 300km is the fresh air, the sun, getting outside, the physical act of helping the motor and reducing wh/km, the mobility aspect of going to stores, the silence of direct drive hub motors, and just cruising around aimlessly, can take the ebike anywhere I wish and no one knows any better.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by RonnieBrowen2106 » May 04, 2017 8:31 pm

markz wrote:To be quite honest and frank, for awhile there, I wasnt feeling the electric grin factor. Especially over this past winter, and this past fall, summer and spring. I had some other minor things going on in my personal life especially from August that I felt kept my spirits down. Prior to that, I was procrastinating on spending more money on ebike stuff.

Now, since I have done 300km in the past week, getting very little eye balls, only the occasional glance/stare with people seemingly aware there is something different about my bike and my riding since I rarely peddle, well since them 300k's I am happy, got plans for an ebike trip to Vancouver Island, probably take the Greyhound a bit of the ways Kelowna - Van - Vict - then up north. I dont want to bite off more then I can chew. I may go 1200km back to Calgary on e-juice.

What I like about my 300km is the fresh air, the sun, getting outside, the physical act of helping the motor and reducing wh/km, the mobility aspect of going to stores, the silence of direct drive hub motors, and just cruising around aimlessly, can take the ebike anywhere I wish and no one knows any better.
Same. I love driving around aimlessly. But I live in Duluth, MN. Very fun. What a thrill. 30MPH may seem slow, but not when you are on a bike. :D :twisted:

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by CaliClouds » May 07, 2017 1:01 pm

Probably my main reason I built my first Ebike(actually trike) was because I was using Uber or bicycling everywhere and an ebike saved me time. I've had some bad injuries and medical issues over the years so I avoid driving since I frequently use medical cannabis. Now I never stress when I'm getting around and sold my car a year ago because I rarely used it after my etrike conversion. My Uber/Lyft bill for the month is usually $30-100 instead of $200.

People think I hate driving and cars or I'm a hippy. But I just hate traffic and boring cars so I'm lucky to have no shortage of car guy friends. Last week I got my car fix drifting through half a set of tires on a 350z and I get track time at least a couple days a year. And Ebikes are just plain fun! People are always smiling when they ride them like scooters and fat... bikes
Last edited by CaliClouds on May 21, 2017 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by RonnieBrowen2106 » May 18, 2017 9:55 am

Does Anyone else have an interesting story?

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by dogman dan » May 29, 2017 6:07 am

Likely not.

I saw stuff about the first teslas, and was looking at car conversion kits. Then I priced the lithium battery, and went " can't afford that". Then I started looking at converting a motorcycle, but again, a big expensive battery made the project a bit pricy. I had no idea there were electric bike motors yet.

Once I found out they existed, and were affordable, I was off an running.

Although, you can't call burning your house down affordable. :roll:

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by LockH » May 30, 2017 10:45 pm

LockH wrote:Battery-electric traction? For boats. :wink:
Let me elaborate please? Briefly, my daughters would visit by passenger ferry across a harbour and w/winds in "wrong" directions diseasal engine exhausts would "spill" in/over the back deck and door into the passengers area, watt made my daughters ill? And I thought "there has to be a better way". So I got my first two-wheeler just to remember some of the tech, batteries and chargers and instruments, etc. And I picked up this new ride and rode it home through snows and slushes... that was around the "turn of the century". Maybe the "best" one can do in life is to leave this planet a "better place" for future generations. :wink:
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Jul 25, 2017 8:56 pm

dogman dan wrote:Likely not.

I saw stuff about the first teslas, and was looking at car conversion kits. Then I priced the lithium battery, and went " can't afford that". Then I started looking at converting a motorcycle, but again, a big expensive battery made the project a bit pricy. I had no idea there were electric bike motors yet.

Once I found out they existed, and were affordable, I was off an running.

Although, you can't call burning your house down affordable. :roll:
Yeah, I think most people still don't realize at how cheap building an ebike can be. If you can deal with assembling your own battery with 18650s, the biggest cost is just the time put into it. There is so much cool stuff out there in the space that the main thing holding it back at this point is archaic laws/regulations.

Did you seriously burn down your house? I'm sure you already know this, but for those that don't - if you suspect your battery may explode, charge it in a metal bucket and put a bag of sand over the top. If it does catch fire it will burn the bag, causing the sand to spill out and self extinguish.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by zackclark70 » Jul 25, 2017 9:19 pm

day in day out 15 mile each way commute to work ebike was the cheap easy option

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Chalo » Jul 25, 2017 9:24 pm

Kneelb4ZOD wrote:There is so much cool stuff out there in the space that the main thing holding it back at this point is archaic laws/regulations.
There's nothing archaic about the laws governing e-bikes. There are laws that define e-bikes that can be operated as bicycles, and there are laws that cover motorcycles. Your e-bike can be made to conform to one or the other.

All the bitching I see about e-bike rules comes from those who operate electric motorcycles, but don't want to uphold the responsibilities that come with motorcycles. To which I say, aww poor baby. Grow up and act like a real motorcyclist, why don't you?
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Jul 25, 2017 9:50 pm

Chalo wrote:
Kneelb4ZOD wrote:There is so much cool stuff out there in the space that the main thing holding it back at this point is archaic laws/regulations.
There's nothing archaic about the laws governing e-bikes. There are laws that define e-bikes that can be operated as bicycles, and there are laws that cover motorcycles. Your e-bike can be made to conform to one or the other.

All the bitching I see about e-bike rules comes from those who operate electric motorcycles, but don't want to uphold the responsibilities that come with motorcycles. To which I say, aww poor baby. Grow up and act like a real motorcyclist, why don't you?
Whoah, chill your socks. Electric vehicles are innovating at the rate of an electronics/technology sector in my opinion, 10-15 years in this space is archaic. There are plenty of places which have not updated their laws at all regarding e-bikes, effectively banning everything with an electric motor used for transportation. I'm also not just talking about ebikes, but mono-wheels, standing scooters, skateboards and so on. A lot of these last mile commuter options are effectively banned in many areas.

As far as overpowered ebikes not wanting to be regulated as a motorcycle, at a certain point I agree with you. But there a huge gap between 350w pedal assist and traditional motorcycles weighing hundreds of pounds and capable of 100mph+. Places which require ebikes to match motorcycle specifications, get rid of all of that middle ground and make it so the only options you have is a watered down put-put cycle or an overpowered and expensive electric crotch missile. That middle ground is where most practical scooters and ebikes sit, including those which are making fast food delivery, shopping, and courier services so much better in a lot of cities.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Chalo » Jul 25, 2017 10:25 pm

Where I live, and in most US states, there's another category for sub-50cc scooters and mopeds. If an owner of a 2hp moped can (must) get a plate and insurance as applicable, so can an owner of a 2hp e-bike.

If the DMV says no and won't let you register it, well at least you can have it on record that you tried. That's much more legit than insisting you shouldn't have to register something that in fact conforms to the legal definition of a moped or motorcycle.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Jul 26, 2017 12:16 am

Chalo wrote:Where I live, and in most US states, there's another category for sub-50cc scooters and mopeds. If an owner of a 2hp moped can (must) get a plate and insurance as applicable, so can an owner of a 2hp e-bike.

If the DMV says no and won't let you register it, well at least you can have it on record that you tried. That's much more legit than insisting you shouldn't have to register something that in fact conforms to the legal definition of a moped or motorcycle.
I would argue that anything powered by a 50cc and under engine should not require registration, so I'm pretty consistent on this. There's a permit, registration, and fine for everything in life now. I wish more people were willing to push back against the nanny state, it hasn't always been this way, but people seem to accept the fact that you need the government's permission to do anything. Obviously, there's a lot of room for legitimate disagreement in how much the government should lord over everyone to prevent potential nuisance, but I feel that the best environment for progress is one with more personal liberty, so long as you are not not endangering the life of others or infringing on someone's human rights, you should be allowed to do it.

If someone wants to ride a monowheel around town they should be allowed to do so, it's their own ankle's they are risking. For cars, obviously you have thousands of pounds of steel and huge engines, the potential to kill others is great so you should need a license to prove you are capable of driving safely. For large motorcycles, while you're mainly risking your own life, the potential to seriously hurt others is still there. For a 50cc moped, ebike, or escooter, we have to be your nanny to keep cars from killing you. You could make the same argument for requiring a license on bicycles. A well tuned road bike ridden by someone in good shape can go faster than most ebikes will.

The ebike laws in most places do not make sense from a practical point of view. It's clear they simply want less adoption of ebikes and electric vehicles because they are inconvenient to road traffic. But if you're taking 3000 pounds of steel 2 miles to the grocery store, and parking it in parking lots which have taken over most of the US landscape, you're a bigger problem than bicycle traffic. Nuisance laws are nanny laws, more people should be on ebikes and less people should be hauling around thousands of pounds at the risk of those around them, just to go to the store and back.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Chalo » Jul 26, 2017 12:50 am

If you and your kid had to share a multi-use path with unregistered, unlicensed scooter riders, I'll bet you could think of a few limitations you'd want to apply.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Jul 26, 2017 1:29 am

Chalo wrote:If you and your kid had to share a multi-use path with unregistered, unlicensed scooter riders, I'll bet you could think of a few limitations you'd want to apply.
There is probably 100 times more electric mopeds, scooters, and ebikes where I live than anywhere in the US. It sounds like your complaint is with jerks in general, not everyone with ebikes. I'm ok with fining someone who is riding recklessly or getting in accidents all the time. I'm not ok with preventing the free use of small personal transportation vehicles just because some people act like a wanker on two wheels. People can also be rude and dangerous on traditional bikes. The reason why there are so many two wheel wankers as a percentage of ebike riders in the US is up till now, regulation has discouraged most people from using them for practical purposes, leaving the people who use them for fun and sport to dominate the market. If it were a regular form of transportation, maybe more of the kids who ride them for sport would have a better idea of how to behave, and police could focus on punishing those which are actually abusing people on multi-use lanes and not everyone in general. At the end of the day, you're not going to die if someone accidentally bumps into you on an ebike, which isn't really any more likely than getting ran over by a bicycle. You'd better be more concerned about a car running a red light or someone driving drunk.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Dauntless » Jul 26, 2017 1:48 pm

Kneelb4ZOD wrote:. . . .You'd better be more concerned about a car running a red light or someone driving drunk.
Don't get him started. His complaint is that he wants to declare EVERYONE ELSE to be a jerk. His next target is gonna be YOU.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by GalFisk » Aug 15, 2017 12:29 am

Like some others here I've been into electronics from an early age. I've also always disliked combustion engines for their heat, noise, oiliness, smelliness, pollution, unreliability and inefficiency. This meant I never developed any interest in mopeds during my youth, or in cars later (though I did get a driver's license) so I kept bicycling everywhere instead.

I bought an ebike conversion kit in -09 (I think), but I had to return it because of the many manufacturing issues it had. It was quite fun when it worked though. Around that time I got into skydiving, and also got a girlfriend and moved outside of town, which meant that I needed a car. All this meant that I didn't have the money for another ebike for some years.
The car, though reliable, confirmed most of my prejudices against combustion engines. When the Nissan Leaf became available on a 2-year leasing deal, I calculated that everything included it would cost exactly the same as the old car, so I made the switch.

A change of jobs and a move later, and I found that I no longer really needed the car, so I returned it when the lease was up. Now I did have a use for an ebike, so I bought one cheaply and built it a new battery with 18650s from broken laptop batteries at work.

I will eventually buy another electric car, when I can get one with a range of 250-500 km for a decent price. That one I can use for longer trips, such as visiting my relatives. I'm not ever willing to own any vehicles with combustion engines again, and I'm very much looking forward to when skydiving can be done from electric aircraft.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by jonescg » Aug 15, 2017 1:15 am

I first rode a friend's e-bike when I was living in Vancouver BC. His kit was from Renascence Cycles (as it was called back then :wink: ) and it had a NiCd battery in the backpack. It must have been about 2008.

I enjoyed it, but being a motorcyclist I set myself the challenge of building an electric motorbike. I put together a few e-bikes in the meantime with kit from Paul Lynch, but I finished building Voltron in 2011 and not even a season had passed before I knew I had to build a bigger, better, faster bike. So I set about building Voltron Evo. By 2014 we made our debut for eFXC and the rest as they say, is history.

I joined the AEVA in 2010, and have been heavily involved with the association ever since (currently the national secretary). So yeah, EVs for the MFW 8)

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Joe90 » Aug 16, 2017 3:04 pm

I was flying RC helicopters
electric started being ''affordable'' and powerful enough to convert to electric.
What an improvement !

1- No vibrations
2- A lot simpler
3- Way less maintenance
4- Quieter
5- More powerful
6- More reliable

If it does the same for cars, ice cars are more than in serious trouble even if they come with other things like OTA or autpilot, thrust vectoring or any new tech gadget
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by craneplaneguy » Aug 27, 2017 6:21 pm

The smooth torquey power delivery combined with the lack of noise, and secondly the fact that I have an abundance of free electricity thanks to a big renewable energy system. Though to be perfectly honest, the free power thing I am so used to taking for granted, it wasn't until I was way into ebikes that I realized and then started bragging it up that hell yeah my ride is sun, wind, and hydro powered! It is a great way to shut down e sceptics who start in with " yeah but the electricity has to come from from somewhere, how much does it cost to charge?" I would like to think other people way into ebikes who are NOT renewable powered, would strongly consider (consider hell, just do it) at the very least a small PV system adequate to let them also brag their rides are 100% renewable energy powered.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Chalo » Sep 01, 2017 3:47 pm

craneplaneguy wrote:I would like to think other people way into ebikes who are NOT renewable powered, would strongly consider (consider hell, just do it) at the very least a small PV system adequate to let them also brag their rides are 100% renewable energy powered.
That would be nice. Where I live, small lots, shade trees, and rented housing are facts of life. PV power isn't that straightforward. From a resource standpoint, living here on dirty grid power is still way greener than living out in the sticks with renewable electric power.

NYC is the most energy-efficient city in the USA, per capita. And one of the most practical for getting around by electric bike.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by markz » Sep 01, 2017 5:01 pm

People just want to reduce their $350/m electric bill, so dumping big money in and seeing a return on that takes time. Plus they'd have to stay in one place for a long time as well. Unless they install a setup where they can just get up and go. So just start small, and put a high resource appliance on solar and work up from there. Change all the lightbulbs to LED.

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