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Electric Bicycles thread

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An electric bike business was launched in London some years ago at the time the initial congestion charge was imposed.


E-Bike on Holland Park Avenue


/see: http://www.franchise4all.co.uk/franchise4a...bikecentral.htm


But it closed down.

One big problem was the risk of theft.


But new approaches to Bikes-in-Cities are being tried.


This one is working in Paris:



A new fashion catches on in Paris: Cheap bicycle rentals

By Steven Erlanger: July 13, 2008


PARIS: They're clunky, heavy and ugly, but they have become modish — and they are not this season's platform shoes.


A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Vélib's, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.


About 20,600 Vélib' bicycles are in service here, with more than 1,450 self-service rental stations. The stations are only some 270 meters, or 300 yards, apart, and there are four times as many as there are subway stations, even in a city so well served by its metro system.


In the first year, the city says, there have been 27.5 million trips in this city of roughly 2.1 million people, many of them for daily commutes. On average, there are 120,000 trips a day. And on July 27, at the conclusion here of the Tour de France, 365 lucky Vélib' riders will be chosen to ride along for a while and cross the finish line.


There are Vélib' Web sites, Vélib' fashions and a Vélib' blog (http://blog.velib.paris.fr/blog); one recent posting discussed the best way to ride with a skirt. A kind of Vélib' behavior has emerged, especially at the morning rush, with people swiftly checking for bikes in the best condition: tires inflated, chains still attached, baskets unstolen.


/more: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/13/europe/13paris.php


== ==


Is it time to think about Electric Bikes (or just Velib bikes) in London again?

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E-Bike on Holland Park Avenue


/see: http://www.franchise4all.co.uk/franchise4a...bikecentral.htm


E-bike tried to grow as a franchise operation


Activity: ebikecentral is dedicated to the marketing and promotion of electrically powered vehicles - electric

Year UK franchise launched: 2003

Initial franchise fee: £10,000

Minimal personal investment: £50,000 - £70,000

Required working capital: £10,000 - £15,000

Training: ebikecentral has put together a comprehensive training programme to cover all aspects of the busines

General support: There is a helpline opened every day.


website: http://www.ebikecentral.co.uk


2004: 1 franchise

outlets abroad: Australia, Germany, South Africa, France and Gibraltar are reserved




In the UK:

You're free from Road Tax and MOT tests


You're free from a Driving Licence, a driving test and costly lessons.


You're free from the Congestion Charge.


You're free from parking restrictions.


You're free from petrol bills.


You're free from the sweat of conventional cycling.


You're free from the grime and gear of conventional motorcycling.


You're free to use bus lanes and cycle paths.

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Not overly sure whether culturally 'electric' bicylcles can be accepted.


You either ride a bike or you ride a motorbike .............. both of which can be abused (I've broken both arms, lost my front teeth and numerous concusions to pedal cycles).


Until someone invents an electric bike with some kind of style (please, no offence meant in that statement to any owners but I do honestly see the designs kicked out by the manufacturers as 'purposeful' rather than 'dangerously fun' as all bikes should look) they'll never take off.


It's pretty shameful when the nearest to 'cool' that manufacturers of electric cycles have come is the 'segway' which has a very limited ability to be abused !!!!!!



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  • 2 weeks later...
Until someone invents an electric bike with some kind of style


My intital thought is to disagree with the style comment


Electric bikes have come down a lot in price

However so has oil


I think that bikes (electic or otherwise) have 2 major disadvantages that they need to overcome. 1. Safety in an accident & 2. Exposed to weather - Uk is often wet !!


I guess weather can be overcome with plastic overcoats/leggings and maybe that does come down to style! Acceptable riding in the mountains in plastic mac's but not in the city perhaps !

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You either ride a bike or you ride a motorbike .............. both of which can be abused (I've broken both arms, lost my front teeth and numerous concusions to pedal cycles).


You should learn to ride a bicycle. In 100,000 miles of road riding, I have never so much as scratched myself. Not that this proves anything, since a single example does not prove a general rule. However, risk assessment shows that on-road cycling is not more risky than walking or driving. Cyclists that are hospitalised have lower AIS scores than for pedestrians or car occupants. How did you suffer all these injuries?


That said, like you I have my doubts about electric bikes. Predictably, manufacturers are competing to a degree on performance. The bikes now coming out have similar potential to a moped, which can reach 35mph. I can foresee a debate raging about "what is a motorcycle?".


Those who are too lazy to turn the pedals should not pretend that they are cyclists.

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My post regarding my views on two wheeled vehicles was a slightly tongue in cheek appraisal from a personal point of view of what I personally gain from the experiences of riding. The element of risk I refer to is down more to the way I like to ride.


My viewpoint that 'electric cycles' lack styling is that if they are ever to catch on as a means of transport en-mass they need to connect in the same way 'Lambrettas', 'Choppers' or even 'MX' do in their styling and become an accessory. I don't honestly believe that 'efficiency' alone is something that will make them commercially hugely successful; from my own perspective I'd rather use my own legs than any electric cycle I've seen on the market for all the above reasons (including efficiency)


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