Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

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Josh K.   100 W

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Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Josh K. » Jan 12 2010 7:15pm

OK, How do we do it? How do we jump start the E bike market, and cause an electric revolution?

We have the efficiencies, the suppliers, the people, but how do we create a Pull, Demand, or a spark of life?

Looking at the SKateboard industry, it took off when some magazines started really showing all the kids what was
going on in Cali, the Competitions, the Clothes, the new designs, the moves, the tricks, and new places to ride...

What could we do to start something like that?

Ideas?

Thanks, Josh K.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by AussieJester » Jan 12 2010 7:24pm

Personally i would prefer it stayed 'low key' more exposure will ultimately
spawn more regulations, we have it good now (well us Aussie dont but the rest do)

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by amberwolf » Jan 12 2010 8:04pm

The first thing you'd need to do is fix the problem of integrating bicycle traffic with regular traffic, via complete education *and testing* of bike regs and safety for all vehicle operators regardless of what type it is, and for all law enforcement personnel. It'd be best if this education was included early on in regular schooling, too, since apparently no one gets taught anything about using the road or car or bike safety until they are out of high school, or even after that. (I don't even think they teach kids to stop and look both ways before crossing anymore).

Then you'd need to fix the mishmash of local regulations about basic bicycle stuff, which vary quite a lot over just the USA, not even mentioning the rest of the world. Even just where and how riding them is allowed is different within different cities here in the valley of the sun, surrounding Phoenix. I'm not even talking e-bikes, just bikes, period.

Then you need to fix the mishmash of local regs about ebikes. Some treat them like regular bikes, some ban them from bike paths, some ban them from roads, some ban them period or make them useless in some other way.

Along with the above, you'd also have to ENFORCE all the regulations, for cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicle operators. Right now unless someone is injured or killed in an accident, it's unlikely any tickets will get issued in a bicycle-involved incident, at least not to the vehicle operators. Depends on where you live, but it's common enough to be a real problem.

After all that, you need to fix the traffic infrastructure, to make it consistent how bikes are integrated with traffic on the roads. Just here in the valley there are places where they have 1/4 mile of bike lane which just vanishes into nowhere. Places marked as a shoulder but which have to be used as a bike lane because it is marked as a bike path but there is no room for a bike to ride on the too-narrow road in the very high speed traffic. Fixing how vehicle parking is allowed or not in bike lanes, or how lanes go around parked vehicles, etc. Or just take all the bike lanes out once education and enforcement is fixed, so that traffic operates as one unit.

Then you can start teaching all the people that sell ebikes and bicycles to make sure that they fit the bike to the person who will ride it, and how they will use it, so they don't just toss the thing in the garage after the first five miles because it doesn't even come close to fitting them right, and causes them pain.

After you have done all that, then you can start promoting ebike use and getting more and more people to ride them.

But until it's easy and safe to ride just a regular bike out there, I wouldn't bother with trying to get more people to ride ebikes.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by jag » Jan 13 2010 12:19pm

Josh K. wrote:OK, How do we do it? How do we jump start the E bike market, and cause an electric revolution?

We have the efficiencies, the suppliers, the people, but how do we create a Pull, Demand, or a spark of life?

Ideas?
Josh mentions need for media exposure, Amberwolf need to improve cyclist regulations and enforcement.

I think recruiting more grassroots enthusiasts is still important. There isn't critical mass yet and average Joe doesn't see or meet ebikers often.

One particular idea I had was to somehow get a group of college students together. If several colleges each started cranking out 50+ technically skilled ebike enthusiasts like Liveforphysics or Methods I bet those would make a difference. One could build and study ebikes as part of the engineering design project, a course or a club. An (international) ebike competition like the solar car, formula SAE, robotic submarine etc would also help spark interest and challenges. Unfortunately I'm in CS, and unlike engineering there isn't so much going on in terms of building things. Have to somehow get more contacts with engineering students (seems easy; just joined the robot submarine group), and figure out how to deal with the administrative hurdles of a project/course or competition (seems harder).

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Lock » Jan 13 2010 1:41pm

Just outta curiosity I just typed "electric bicycle" into Youtube search, sort by number of views:

Killacycle New World Record 155 MPH!
NEDRA.com for more information on electric drag racing, and www.Killacycle.com for more on this bike. Or type "Killacycle" into the search field ...
2 years ago 744,686 views

nano motor electric bike kit: freewheel demonstration
The motor is built-in to the hub of a front or rear bicycle wheel 16"-27"/700C (3 speeds available). Some folks think regenerative charging is ...
2 years ago 366,229 views

Ultimate hybrid electric bicycle
Bike using two, four, or six, 36 volt Dewalt battery packs in series for 72 volts powering a 408 Crystalyte motor. More at gristmill.grist.org
2 years ago 363,842 views

Thunder Tiger rc bikes! Electric v Nitro!
Another first from Wonderfulcat. I've gaffer taped a video camera to an old motorcycle helmet (goodness, I must have looked strange to passers by ...
2 years ago 349,951 views

1st 120VaC "Power Hawg" E-bike: Runs 120v Applications On- ...
First 120vAc E-bike in the World! Power Hawg Electric Bike UPDATED!!! Please check out the other Video's for sound, completed design/paint, and ...
2 years ago 346,621 views

Gomi Style - Electric Motorcycle Conversion
A Honda Rebel motorcycle is converted to a zero emissions electric chopper. Made the Gomi way, with mostly found and scavenged materials, we make ...
2 years ago 334,648 views

News Report "Man Motors On Hybrid Bike"
news report on electric bicycle (electric bike) HPV EV For more info see: cyclesantamonica.blogspot.com Here is one of my favorite "how to" video ...
3 years ago 297,080 views

The Copenhagen Wheel - Teaser
components of the project are an electric bicycle wheel that can be easily retrofitted into any regular bicycle and location and ...
1 month ago 281,007 views

Mongoose Cruiser Electric Bike Review
Some footage about the electric bike, see the full blog review at teazo.blogspot.com
3 years ago 260,188 views

YikeBike - Urban Freedom
electric folding bicycle at less than 10kg. If you are interested on how it handles go to: www.youtube.com ... e-bike folding bike electric yike ...
4 months ago 230,413 views

Quitgas! Clean, Quiet, Fun, Electric Motorcycle
Update February 2009 Well, I am happy with this project except for one issue in order to service batteries and experiment with the bike, clear ...
2 years ago 187,157 views


...and so on. The first page of listings is full of vids most two or three years old, a couple one year... and two that are only one month and four months old. The Copenhagen Wheel and the Yikebike. I am going to guess that the reason these two vids have such high view counts in such a short time is because both products received quite a bit of attention in the non-ebike/non-cycling mass medias...

Many of the other high views vids feature novelty like high power or "gas vs nitro"... OTOH a google search for "man crosses canada on electric bicycle" returns about three hits (about Justin - plenty more unrelated hits)

So I'll suggest that novelty sells (or at least attracts more attention...)
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by jag » Jan 13 2010 2:39pm

jag wrote: If several colleges each started cranking out 50+ technically skilled ebike enthusiasts
Also worth mentioning in this context: ebikes.ca and their unique Cycle Analyst: An interest and hobby among a few UBC students that turned in to a project that now has turned into a fairly widely distributed product. More college students thinking about and playing with ebikes could mean more companies and jobs.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Josh K. » Jan 19 2010 7:45pm

News: Wall Street Journal posts article on E bikes in China, 120 million on streets...

E yikes! Nice title. What we need is a front page in Wired, or Popular Mechanics...

Maybe we need a E bike magazine to make things really happen...

Ideas?

Josh K.
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
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Climbed Mnt. Washington twice, Pikes peak twice, PIR, First Electric Cyclist to Ride the Rockies 2012, All on handbuilt pedal assist E bikes.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Lock » Jan 19 2010 8:06pm

How about more expensive gas? ...like, a lot more expensive?:
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Josh K. » Jan 22 2010 6:36pm

Wow, Ok, yeah, that 7 dollar a gallon fuel will defiantly get people onto E bikes, for sure.

Wonder if we could get a Dollar a Gallon tax for clean energy development now?

If we start now, then when gas hits triple digits per gallon again, this year, we will be more well prepared for it.

Our best run this year was 105 miles, on 16 cent's worth of electricity, in five hours. Josh K.
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Lock » Jan 22 2010 7:35pm

Josh K. wrote:Wow, Ok, yeah, that 7 dollar a gallon fuel will defiantly get people onto E bikes, for sure.
HAHA!... So, you actually listened to this vid??? I have had a few EV Gods over the last decade or so but I think Mr.Rubin has "nailed it"... I am left to chuckle at the ES folks here that quibble endlessly about Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change/whatever... If you understand Mr.Rubin they are about to be blind-sided by reality... in 12/15 months...

Your EV rig is very cool BTW
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Josh K. » Jan 23 2010 6:26pm

Yeah, I watched it, and learned a couple of things too.

For one, I can't believe how the power plant's are getting fuel for so cheap, 7 cents a gallon, Wow. Now wonder they are
ripping through it out there. I thought 2 dollars was super cheap, considering what it takes to get it to us and all.

With any luck, the fuel prices will go up with some clean energy taxes, and people will start to think about what they drive.
Furthermore, As more and more high quality bikes become available, It will make more Cents to ride electric...

Thank for the comment on my ride, it is the nicest machine i have done in ten years of building E bikes, for sure.

Josh K.
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
Custom E bike designer, Mechanic, and electric diagnostics expert.
Climbed Mnt. Washington twice, Pikes peak twice, PIR, First Electric Cyclist to Ride the Rockies 2012, All on handbuilt pedal assist E bikes.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by ejsk » Feb 05 2010 11:41am

Hi Josh,

We help bring together the industry-advocacy consortia. To make this reality, we've formed a small, but mighty community called http://www.myelectricv.ning.com to help raise the bar, bring new products to market and create and maintain jobs in eco-friendly states.

How we do this is by growing the groundswell (which you are a part of) attracting movers, forward thinkers and by signaling EV proponents in government and industry.
You raise an excellent point; no question, the opportunity exists for social and eco-good through intersection of public/private. We also like to expose the b'foonery of the political realm (who doesn't) and generally speak to the world as if we own it. :lol:

So check our blog, blog, and please join us. We also have neat EV stickers, courtesy of our member, Meg M! It all depends on people like yourself.

Peace,

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by eBikeStore » Feb 05 2010 12:38pm

Great Topic,

Think about how many advertisements you have seen that mention automobile-based concepts while showing favorable lifestyles. We are fluent in the concepts of horsepower, anti-lock brakes, air bags, etc, because we all want great lifestyles and have been barraged with marketing messages.

The key is lifestyle.

People need to see folks riding to school, the store - all of the short trips they make currently make in cars - these could be on electric bikes. Till now, eBike marketing has predominantly been comprised of photos of eBikes with lots of words. The ads attract researchers, not riders. Show the fun. Show the health. At the same time, increase the infrastructure. Lobby for more bike lanes, roads with awnings (for cities like portland) legal framework, testing equipment for bike shops to simplify repair. Cars did not gain widespread adoption overnight, it took refineries, roads, service stations, trained mechanics, political will.

The other approach is pain. The costs of oil dependence in terms of pollution, wars, terrorism, etc are evident. Consumers want out and eBikes are a way out of this destructive loop.

I would argue that an 'explosion' is not the right track. Maybe a 'whisper campaign' would be more effective...

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by John in CR » Feb 08 2010 9:21pm

I like the "Whisper Campaign" idea, as in ssshhhh don't tell anyone. Keep it our secret for now, then when gas prices go crazy and batteries are even cheaper, we can all cash in on our expertise in our local area. Personally I'm still trying to find the magic combination of up to 30mph speed, good hill climbing, and cheap but safe. This thing's a piece of cake in the flatlands.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Lock » Feb 09 2010 3:39am

eBikeStore wrote:The key is lifestyle.
"Lifestyle"... We got lots of lifestyle...
Image

`Steada whispering, it'd be nice if some of the entertainment industry/leaders of "cool" were ebikers... Most of the monkeys do what they see the Alpha monkeys doing
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by biohazardman » Feb 09 2010 4:50am

Josh K. wrote:Wow, Ok, yeah, that 7 dollar a gallon fuel will defiantly get people onto E bikes, for sure.

Wonder if we could get a Dollar a Gallon tax for clean energy development now?

If we start now, then when gas hits triple digits per gallon again, this year, we will be more well prepared for it.

Our best run this year was 105 miles, on 16 cent's worth of electricity, in five hours. Josh K.
With 7 dollar a gallon gas many people won't be able to afford an e-bike and many others will go hungry. Dollar a gallon gas tax! Prices on everything will go up. Don't forget most everything we buy at the store comes with the price tag of energy and fuel already included.

E-bikes are fun and can be very useful but most of us don't want to be like much of the rest of the world destitute, hungry and carless. Our nation needs to make some changes and get back to basics alright but ICE is not inherently evil and needs to be around and cheap for a time until we find something better. We haven't yet it's as plain as that.

Yes, Justin rode across Canada with his e-bike but he also broke down several times and took a long time to get to his destination. He did not carry construction material to build a new house nor food to feed the masses. It was a very difficult thing for him to do. Yes, there are many alternatives all far more costly and not practical at the moment. When we have a better low cost power source, for our bikes and electric cars, and a way to distribute it things will be more appealing to many.

If we want more people on e-bikes then we need to build them better so they are more reliable and make them so they can climb hills quietly as well as make them more comfortable and stable. The baby boomers are getting old.
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by torker » Feb 09 2010 2:07pm

It is kinda like I said about U.S./ North American manufacturing. When gas is 7 dollars a gallon we won't be importing so much. Things will become more local/ point of use. Hell of a way to get there though. Also ebikes alone are not the answer. Got to have an enclosed vehicle in this part of the country right now. I'm all for advancing the industry but like AJ I worry about govt. regulation. But that is going to happen no matter what. WE need to stick together and I think WE have/can make a difference.
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by Lock » Feb 09 2010 6:38pm

Funny that lifestyle came up... posted today in Bike Europe news:
"Bikes Becoming Lifestyle: Surfboard Brand Enters the Business
HONG KONG – Bicycles and lifestyle have often been linked with each other, especially during the heydays of mountainbiking. Since then the bike industry has been searching for new icons. A new bicycle life style might arise with the entrance of the highly successful NeilPryde windsurfing brand on the bicycle market. "

"The Pryde Group, owner of the brand NeilPryde, has announced the launch of a new division focused on performance road bikes. “The NeilPryde range will contain elegantly engineered, premium bikes”, stated the Pryde Group."

Full text here:
http://www.bike-eu.com/news/3854/bikes- ... iness.html
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by torker » Feb 10 2010 4:40pm

Well, I watched the video. Now I'm ready to sell my house in the burbs and move into town Ack.. When I bought it ten years ago I knew I would be trading a smaller house payment for a bigger gas bill to get to work. When gas goes up again and stays there I'm sure my house value will drop. No one will want to live 20 mi. from the big city unless they are retired. At least I was right about the global market becoming local again. That is something I do want.

When I was a kid we would have "Traderamas" We would bring our toys- magnifying glass-yo-yos -slingshot and trade for other new to us "toys" Back then trinkets were made in Japan instead of China. If someone tried to trade some "cheap Japanese junk" they wouldn't get much in trade. Of course then TVs and tennis shoes were still made here. Bring me a bike and motor kit built in Detroit I say.
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by eBikeStore » Feb 12 2010 12:17am

Lock,

I have sold bikes to folks in retirement villas - and it came back to bite me hard. They crashed and then their children blamed me for selling to them (after asking me to custom make the bike over 6 weeks... I didn't want to make it for him) Customer then asked for a full refund for the crashed bike. Not the lifestyle I am talking about.

I am talking about a real transportation option that increases the our ability to get from point A to point b rapidly; provides personal health benefits; is more friendly to the environment. The question is: are eBikes a viable car alternative; Can I replace my car and truly rely on an eBike? From what I have seen, the technology is reliable enough.

So the next part is infrastructure. Bike lanes, red light sensors for bicycles, bike paths, bike options for public transportation and bike racks for parking are increasing. Females are finding it safe enough to ride (a key indicator of safety improvements) and at least in Portland, we have seen a substantial increase in pedal commuters. However, eBike repair shops are few and far between and standardized test equipment/procedures are essentially non-existent. Justin (ebikes.ca) is doing ground-breaking work in pushing for wiring standards and safety testing on forks, motors and batteries. I would love to see his dream of covered bikeways in rainy cities like Seattle, Vancouver and Portland (much less expensive than a busline...) take flight.

We also need this community to encourage responsible eBike usage. It is not OK to break laws, it is not OK to endanger the lives of others by blowing stop signs and red lights. Endangering your own life is one thing and goes a long way in my mind to prove Darwin's theory. However, those who act in this manner may harm the long-term success of this viable transportation option.

Lastly, eBike riding is a lifestyle. Small products that make this lifestyle more tenable are on the way (like easy to use rainmates, www.rainmates.us) We need the marketing messages to point to overall health and show the lifestyle to be appealing

Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by eBikeStore » Feb 12 2010 12:55am

But I think you are correct, that some celebrity endorsements wouldn't hurt, (when they are not too busy flying their 757's around to 'green events...)
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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by AussieJester » Feb 12 2010 1:15am

torker wrote:Well, I watched the video. Now I'm ready to sell my house in the burbs and move into town Ack..
"Ack" is right, i live ~25km form the Capital City of W.A and wish it was further away, City is a concrete jungle give me big blocks lots of trees and cleaner air any day of the week...

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Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by enoob » Feb 12 2010 1:51pm

i like to think i represent one of the larger demographics that the ebike movement needs to wake up.

make no mistake i have absolutely no plans to give up my truck . big diesel crew cab smoke belcher . As a tradesman i see no chance of making my living on a bike. 6 bags of concrete and 2 dozen 2x4's MIGHT be a little much for an extra cycle. add to that two young boys and well i see in my future further need for the truck.

BUT what really pisses me off and has me making an ebike are the days when im stuck in traffic for hours (thats not an exaggeration) in an empty truck on a short trip that should only take minutes and lycra wearing ponce's are zipping by me. best example yet was just the other day i stopped at the coffee shop grabbed a cuppa joe and just as i got back in my truck lycra boy was mounting his bike. i took notice as it was a carbon fibre bike that looked rather slick and racy. well i get to the hardware store after dodging noontime traffic and theres the same guy LEAVING the store with some small bag o crap. what really drove it home? i was only there for some shrink tubing knew were it was and was outta there in minutes. on the road again and almost home when who do i see sitting at the park just by my house ? lycra boy. :? hes eating a sandwich and lubing the chain on his bike with what he grabbed from the hardware store. daaaaam

now to my point .

that experience is not mine alone . i know others around here have seen the same thing we talk about it in the driveway when the kids are playing. but most folks (like me) dont want to give up a nice warm/aircon box for some pussy, treehugging, slow ass, dead battery, overpriced e-bike - not my view but rather obvious this is the common perception of ebiking in general

if the masses are to embrace it then it needs an image overhaul . quite frankly i believe a few folks getting newsworthy attention because their ebike was doing highway speed and passing cars would be the best start.
the celebrity that ebike's need to boost it does not want to be seen on an ebike . unless its about to get blown up in the blockbuster they are filming.

folks like me will willingly give up their car (at least on nice days) if they see thats its faster, more fun and best of all cheaper. i suspect your/our energy is best spent on those 3 things .

The coffee shop mentioned earlier is a small chain here in the lower mainland and i have talked to the owner of that chain . after the games are over me and him plan on meeting to discuss an idea i had after that experience. Its based on what i would want if i were to really start commuting on an ebike. the basic idea is to have small charging stations (maybe even a small vending machine) at his coffee shops, put your dollar in and trade your dead battery for a fresh one (possibly even free with purchase of coffee and a sandwich) . the system would require a buy in and some degree of standardization on voltage and pack size BUT its things like this that would give me a sense of support that currently does not exist.

with his chain and a bike/pack that could do 20 kilometers i could get most places in langley, surrey and all the way to the airport in delta.

wanna see folks embrace this ? upload video of a regular commute first in a car then on an ebike. not the cutting edge tire frying latest design to come out of this think tank , frankly most of what i show my friends here intimidates them.
how about a short trip to the beer store ? ive done it on the chopper bike last summer using pure pedal power and was still faster than in my car. with an ebike that can do 40kph id kill that time.
16 mins by car round trip average to that little mall. 11mins on the bike. prove with video that it happens and people will come.
M.E.N.S ex pres and charter member.

torker   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1541
Joined: Oct 16 2008 8:46pm
Location: Udall, Ks.

Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by torker » Feb 12 2010 2:10pm

Yea I love it out here. As soon as I get to the south edge of town I feel like there are walls closing in on me. It's just a different pace of life. I lived in Wichita when I was younger and single and partying all the time but now I like the peace and quiet. Now I sound like I am ready for the Villa :roll: Not quite.. I think when more viable alternatives are available, which hopefully there will be in the coming years. And when gas for that 4x4 with 44" tires is 6 dollars a gallon then you might get through to some. Not that all trucks can go away as Enoobe points out.

I do wish we were as progressive as Portland or other places but here I don't see the city planners doing much of anything to make slower speed commuting easier. Hopefully that will change. Maybe if they/city planners etc. had some pics of I-5 bumper to bumper 6 lanes wide or the smog over LA - Phoenix etc. on their desks or in their e-mail and tell them- do you want this for your kids? Here is how to prevent it..

I like the idea of two videos showing the same commute :mrgreen:
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

Giant Rincon w rear 9C 6*10 10s Lipo 30+ amps
Specialized FSR Comp 9C 6*10 15s x 50A 3300 W :)
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lester12483   10 kW

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Joined: Jan 30 2009 1:45am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Re: Creating an E bike Market Explosion....

Post by lester12483 » Feb 13 2010 11:29am

Hey all.

Here in Chicago I know first hand the ebike boom is about to begin this year. My company is selling well despite it being winter. We are getting ready for spring and summer. Cant wait :)

They key to it all is keeping the price affordable and still offering a great product and service.

These big corporations have it all wrong to charge $2299 for an ebike. Its rediculous. People dont have that kind of money with the economy down right now. The eneloop by sayno is a rip off. Weak motor wattage, and no protection for the battery if it suddenly starts raining. Most of my customers that have tried pedelecs say they dont like them.

The only potential sinkhole for ebikes is new laws. I advise any ebike small business owners to contact their local and state politicians and inform them on how ebikes are good. Show them the benefits.

Regards,
John

www.chicagoelectricbicycles.com
MT6 Hybrid- Electric Bicycle 48V
48V 23AH AllCell Lithium Manganese Battery Pack
http://www.chicagoelectricbicycles.com

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