The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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recumpence   100 GW

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The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by recumpence » Apr 25 2015 9:39am

Hello All,

In the 5 years or so I have been in this awesome hobby, I have developed an opinion on one good method of sparking EV interest in the minds of the average person (or average American, anyway). Let me explain;

For those of you who know me, you know I am into high-end and high performance bikes. My background is in two stroke dirt bikes and fast sport bikes. So, I tend to lean in that direction when it comes to my E-bikes. Also, my E-bikes are rarely used for general errand running or commuting. My occupation requires a vehicle to carry hundreds of pounds of equipment over 125 miles per day. That requires a car (I drive a Ford C-Max hybrid and average 50mpg year round). I build my E-bikes for the fun of building them and the fun of riding them. As I mentioned, my bikes tend to be (most of them) built for performance. One reason I lean in that direction is to prove to the average "Joe" that electric propulsion is not inherently slow. Heck, there is actually far more power available in a given motor size for electric versus gas. The battery capacity and weight is the primary limiting factor at this stage and that is changing.

Anyway, assuming the bike is built using high end parts that can handle the power and speed, I think powerful E-bikes are a great way to promote EVs in general.

---Disclaimer---

I know it is not a good idea to promote high performance E-bikes to the average builder who is not familiar with how to make bicycle components survive high power and speed. There is an art to building something really powerful and fast using bicycle specific parts. So, this thread is not advocating taking Walmart bikes and going 50mph on them.

Also, I am not advocating braking the law or being a nuisance to the community by riding too fast in areas not meant for that much speed. That kind of thing tends to make us enemies of the public, rather than ambassadors of EVs.





What I am saying in this long-winded thread, is that high performance E-bikes or any EV (if properly built and used) can be very attractive to the general public. I have yet to find any of my friends, neighbors, or acquaintances in any way negative about my bikes. They all have the same reaction "Wow, that thing is fantastic! It is quiet, it is quick, and it looks like a lot of fun!"

I know I am going to get flack over this next statement, but, it really needs to be said.... I think one major problem with the general public accepting EVs is the perceived lack of performance and the "Dork Factor" that is attributed to any electric vehicle. Lets face it, look at the average E-bike on the market. They look like something only a 70 year old lady would be seen riding. They are very plain and generally clunky looking and poor quality. There are exceptions, but in general, this is what I have seen.

We at the Sphere are on the leading edge of what is going on in ultra light weight EVs. Lets put our best foot (feet?) forward and represent our beloved hobby in a way the rest of the public will find appealing. We need to focus on performance, safety, responsibility, esthetics, reliability, all the things that are positive about electric propulsion.

That is my thought for the day. :mrgreen:

Matt
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by MadRhino » Apr 25 2015 9:57am

Exactly what I am seeing everyday. People are interested in performance, they want it even when they are not performance riders. The like ordinary people driving a car at legal speed on the streets all the time, want to have a car with high power and speed. That is why the adds are showing extremes, for that is the best promotion.
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 25 2015 10:21am

Whether an E-bike is street-legal where it is seen, or an off-road hot rod...test rides work (with a signed liability waiver).

Turbo Bob in San Diego persuaded the several local E-bike dealers to join together and have occasional week-end meets at closed businesses with large parking lots, music playing, refreshments served, test rides...it works.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by lester12483 » Apr 25 2015 10:45am

You need to show people a reason to buy an EV. Commuting to work is one way, and for fun is another.
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by etard » Apr 25 2015 10:50am

I still think an organized racing series aimed at kids is the best promotion. You get teachers parents and kids involved, and there is a goal. Start out with go carts for early ages and work up to dirtbikes and ebikes for older aged kids.
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by zener » Apr 25 2015 11:12am

I got interested in EV bike from this video

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by The fingers » Apr 25 2015 11:15am

A local ebike meet where dealers have booths and offer test rides in bicycle-popular areas could spread the intrest. I wish I had time to organize something like that. Huntington Beach Pier Plaza immediately comes to mind.
How to keep test riders from stealing those bikes would have to be addressed though. A rocket powered low life scum ejector seat? :lol: Or only offer rides to parents and keep the kids hostage during the test ride, although some parents might take advantage of the situation and never return. :lol:
All kidding aside, if a big enough sponser was secured, such an event could succeed. There it is again: it boils down to money. :wink:
I would have to apply for a government grant or something. :pancake:
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by Jackrabbit » Apr 25 2015 11:36am

Performance and good looks. These are what have made all vehicles desirable.

The flip side is that with high performance Ebikes becoming more popular they become more visible, this can only lead to more regulation/enforcement. I'm quite happy for the majority of the population to be kept in the dark.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by 999zip999 » Apr 25 2015 12:07pm

I work for a place that has eight different brands 24 different models ebIkes I think that's good for the public now they have rat rods and custom builds.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by Ottodog » Apr 25 2015 3:38pm

Keep them away from Endless-Sphere. :D

But seriously. There are some extremely rude and judgemental people here. Especially if someone (God forbid) decides to buy a pre-made bike or a "turn-key" kit, and not go through all the hassles of engineering it themselves. This place is probably doing more to keep the casual noobie out of the sport than any other site.

We have a lot of eyes that come here, and it's a great opportunity that a few bad eggs are ruining. We should strive to be more inclusive but instead we weaken ourselves by dividing into all these warring factions. It's dumb and tedious and a huge turn off to the casual enthusiast. Sorry to be so blunt, but y'all know it's true. ;)

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by tomjasz » Apr 25 2015 4:17pm

I figure the best way is to have a bike that they can ride. So, I'm building a demo with speed limitations.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by slacker » Apr 25 2015 8:49pm

ottodog,maybe its people like you with your attitude is whats turning people off of e-bikes, just sayin. :shock:

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by melodious » Apr 25 2015 9:35pm

Ride them everyday. Be seen. Eventually folks familiarize with you in the area. You could convert a few to the cause in your lifetime just doing this. Don't shy away from questions from noobs curious about them.

I'd bet if you made a "family tree" of the various builds from ES, you'd start seeing trends. Large heavy SLA lead beasts :arrow: Compact lithium wonders with super range or/and super performance. There really isn't a better time to show what EV's are capable of. So many types & styles of them to oogle, and the list only gets bigger & better with time.
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by cjh » Apr 25 2015 9:37pm

Putting people on them is what will do it. It's hard not to get that ebike grin when you first jump on one. We did the same thing years ago with jet skis by having ride days where people could come and try them and see how much fun they were. It generated more sales than anything else.

Another thing is not making them look like science experiments. The average person doesn't like to feel too different, they know what a bike looks like and will feel happier if an ebike looks the same. Of course, there are niche groups with different tastes that can be catered for with retro looking ecruisers, etc. but simplicity, reliability and safety always need to be addressed. It needs to be perceived as accessible and an enhancement to their lifestyle, not a risk or a burden.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by Ottodog » Apr 26 2015 12:49am

slacker wrote:ottodog,maybe its people like you with your attitude is whats turning people off of e-bikes, just sayin. :shock:
Says the guy with this post history... :roll:

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by LockH » Apr 26 2015 4:08am

(Plus One re) "test rides work".
I'm mostly just interested in "Ebikes for the Masses". AKA "stock" bikes available from area retail stores. And Canadian laws restrict ebikes to "Granny-style", (but still a kick-ass Granny, in EU/AU etc. terms).

Re list "We need to focus on:"? I'd switch "performance" with "safety" (making safety at the top), assuming list organized by priorities? And probably tie "safety" with "reliability" in top position as pretty much synonymous.

And "all the things that are positive about electric propulsion"? Add "saving TONS of money" to that list maybe. (Prospect makes most folks eyes light up.)

And "The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?" (Or any small, light weight, slow(-ish...-er hehe) vehicles? Talk/tap with your neighbours about join the growing list of "car-free places". (Makes "car-type" vehicle ownership/use waaaay less desireable.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_car-free_places

Seems like the `burbs are trending to "gated" communities? On the Toronto Islands, naturally "gated" by NOT all night ferryboats, "small town" community life used to pulse with the ferry schedules. Folks left their homes, walked and cycled (together) to the ferry docks, waited for the next boat (together), traveled the short trip across the harbour (together) via pubic transit (sp?). And the process reversed for return trips. Can you say the word "bonding"?

(For better... or worse?), everybuddy knew everybuddies "business". And would "watch each others backs". Folks could actually recognize their neighbours (and could see who were "foreigners").

Being a "City Kid" myself, have to imagine this situation as much as it would have been like about a century ago, before the rise of the gas/diseasal-powered carriages that no longer required one or more animals to pull it with.

From [C]omments here "People are interested in performance". Suspect "performance" in this case involving mostly *speed* and *accelerations*?

"show people a reason to buy an EV"? Suspect self-interest is a "prime motivator" (used to be). Most folks seeing saving their $$$ and getting around faster/easier sorta "attractive".

"an organized racing series". Working on that. In Toronto, 3rd annual uphill bike race set for next (Sunday) September 27. Also kicking off first "Ebike Day" in Canada next (Sunday) May 24th. With 39 folks already indicating they'll maybe show up at the grounds around Toronto city hall. So, hopefully "in your face" (for media attentions, etc). And yah, anything "kids involved" good.

"Performance and good looks. These are what have made all vehicles desirable."
Might depend on how young ("foolish"/inexperienced) ya might be.

"Ride them everyday. Be seen." Etc. Watt he said. (Just "Play Nice" at all the extremely... less than "bright" questions and comments. Folks can expound at great lengths about a subject they know about zero about. AKA "verbal diarrhea".)

"Putting people on them is what will do it." (Over and over I hear/read this.)

... and re the users/posters in these online forums. I encourage all to question any one specific post or comment by others (that can't be "tested"/confirmed elsewhere else) anytime, but NOT to simply attack others, make questionable comments about their mothers, who their dogs puppies father was, etc.
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Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 26 2015 6:19am

I recently built an E-bike from a kit for a co-worker. I was actually clearing out some of my clutter, and assembled my least desirable kit onto a $20 yard sale bike, and brought it in for my co-workers to test-ride (there was a running gag about how I write about E-bikes, but I drive a car to work). My friend knew E-bikes existed before I started working there, but had only seen low-powered and very "cheaply built" models, so he had a low opinion of them.

After the first test ride, he came back all smiles (of course) and immediately asked "you're selling this?". I swapped the E-bike parts over to his personal bike and he is quite happy with it. When he got it home, he kept insisting his wife try it out, and now, after her first test ride...she wants one too.

Its a very quiet direct drive at 48V producing roughly 1,000W. They both were surprised at how quiet it was, and were very happy with how snappy the acceleration was, top speed is about 25-MPH.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by LockH » Apr 26 2015 6:51am

Point out, no more gas station lineups. (Hehe) ... although folks are starting to ask "Is there enough plugins?" at some upcoming "Meetups" (TM)/get-togethers. Oh oh. (Most often from folks that don't like to think of long distances between next opp. to recharge or lugging extra batteries. Etc.)
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by MadRhino » Apr 26 2015 9:08am

Jackrabbit wrote:Performance and good looks. These are what have made all vehicles desirable.

The flip side is that with high performance Ebikes becoming more popular they become more visible, this can only lead to more regulation/enforcement. I'm quite happy for the majority of the population to be kept in the dark.
Well, there is more than one side to every coin.

The better they get, the more people want them.
The more people on the streets with them, the better they will be known.
The better they will be known, the faster they will improve.
The faster they improve, the more likely they are to be regulated.

Our performance ebikes will be ULM class (not only because they are flying), Ultra Lightweight Motorcycles
So we will have to be licensed, insured, conform... And wearing a helmet at all times :?
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by LockH » Apr 26 2015 11:06am

Oh oh, Horny Guy. Ya might have mentioned some Ebiker "dirty words"? Stuff like "conform" (to the preconceived "laws"/notions of others)? "Licensed"? (shudder) "Insure"? (see previous re "licensed") Then there's that "M" word. (Motorcycle)

In my experience, to live a long life, any speeds as "fast" tends to get ya into "troubles" faster. But other than just staying in bed and being served meals, sponge bathing... and emptying that chamber pot thingee... Assuming that folks DO have to travel, for work and to feed themselves, plus for fun, can assume that at least part of the time some sort of vehicle is useful. A vehicle that carries... "stuff" plus at least the one operator.

There's that ugly "P" word again too. "Performance". Undefined (as usual).

Found one definition here:
http://www.businessdictionary.com/defin ... -data.html

So maybe "Historical data on the availability, maintainability, and reliability levels of systems, sub-systems, and components of equipment and machinery."

So... (availability sorta assumed) "Maintenance" (Check), "Reliability" (check). Suspect both include "Safety". Interestingly enough (or not), "Speed" not mentioned.

PS. And "helmet"? "Two wheeled" contraption (that ya have to balance on) NOT "safe"? "Plastic Ice Bucket on your head"-style, or "hat" style?
Image
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by arkmundi » Apr 26 2015 11:16am

Thanks for the interesting reading guys! Sharing personal enthusiasm leading to transfer of happy experience is only thing I've found.... hence, letting people ride my eBike! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesthetic_learning

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by dogman dan » Apr 26 2015 11:55am

Here's what I've learned. NEVER, EVER tell them what your battery cost, till after that test ride. :mrgreen:

Hook em, then reel em in. Tell them you spend $500 a year on batteries, and they freak out. Never mind that they spend that on two months phone bill for two.

I try to start out with discussing how when I commuted, the ebike put cash in my pocket every day. Then after the ride, talk about what the up front costs are.

Re ES, don't send them here unless they do want to modify shit, build for speed, to haul bigger loads, etc. If they are interested in the ready to ride stuff, tell them to go to electric bike report. Lots of reviews of pedegos, prodecos, etc. That guy has ridden everything, or gotten the review from somebody he can trust.

In many ways, the best place for a newb to start. http://electricbikereport.com/

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by LockH » Apr 26 2015 12:59pm

Hehe "what your battery costs"? I usually turn that around and point out watt I've saved recently. (Parking fees, pubic transit (sp?), etc ,etc.). Or express "cost" as pennies per mile (or "kilometer") over time. Or battery costs X times fill ups at the gas station.
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by dogman dan » Apr 26 2015 1:05pm

They just flip out if I say, "this particular battery you see on my bike right now cost $650". Even worse if I tell them what all my currently in use batteries cost.

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Re: The "Best" way to get outsiders interested in EVs?

Post by MadRhino » Apr 26 2015 1:05pm

LockH wrote:Oh oh, Horny Guy. Ya might have mentioned some Ebiker "dirty words"? Stuff like "conform" (to the preconceived "laws"/notions of others)? "Licensed"? (shudder) "Insure"? (see previous re "licensed") Then there's that "M" word. (Motorcycle)
Well, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
Precursors are enjoying a free pass because their toys are unknown, but this can only last for so long.

Ps.: I kind of like the tweed cap helmet. :D
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
Street: https://s20.postimg.org/ewrvugywt/Session_04_2015.jpg
Dirt: https://s20.postimg.org/lbqwr55ml/IMG_0157.jpg

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