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"Electric Bikes Are Taking Off" (International Herald Tribune 3/14/2007)

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  • Cycle Santa Monica
    When did the City of Pasadena (California) startgiving $500 bucks to people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (seearticle and source link below)
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 2, 2007
      When did the City of Pasadena (California) startgiving $500 bucks to people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (seearticle and source link below)



      If anyone has more info on that Pasadena e-bikeprogram, pleas let me know.



      Thanks,

      Michael

      Cycle Santa Monica!

      Empowering Cyclists, Skaters, and Pedestrians

      In Santa Monica and theWestside

      Using Environmentally Friendly Vehicles

      Using Earth Friendly Renewable Fuels

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyclesantamonica

      http://cyclesantamonica.blogspot.com





      --------------------------

      Electric bikes are taking off

      By Carolyn Whelan

      International Herald Tribune

      Wednesday, March 14, 2007

      (source: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/business/transcol15.php)

      Pictureelectric bikes and Pee- Wee Herman's clunker may spring to mind.

      Notanymore.

      From Californiato China, "e-bikes" are taking off as an alternate means of transportation,after years of being overshadowed by their muscle- powered cousins.

      Propelledby a perfect tailwind of technology, high oil prices and the vogue for allthings green, global sales of bikes driven by battery-powered electric motorshave climbed nearly 20 percent since 2005, a trend projected to accelerateespecially in developing countries, where the middle class is rising.

      "E-bikeshave been under the radar," said Ed Benjamin, president of Cycle Electric,a multinational consultancy based in Fort Myers, Florida."Now 20 million units a year sell. The business is young and growing crazyfast."

      For thosewho remember, e-bikes first appeared — briefly — in a much clunkierincarnation on the transportation scene in the 1970s following the energy crisis.

      Theystarted gaining more notice in the mid-1990s, backed by colorful characterslike the former chief of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca. These versions incorporatedpedal-activated power, followed by hub motors.

      At thattime, Japan was selling several hundred thousand e-bikes a year; Chinawas also pushing e-bike use. Big American brands included the Yamaha PAS, theFord-backed Th!nk and EV Global.

      Butsales, especially in the United States, still fell far short ofthe 100 million pedal bikes made globally a year: Commuters just couldn'tfigure e-bikes out.

      Asgas-guzzling SUVs became fashionable, U.S. e-bike sellers,finding little profit in the niche, started to abandon the industry.

      That lullbegan to subside after China decided to get into the game.

      Buoyed bya newly minted middle class and engine bans in some cities, China was producingabout 10 million electric bicycles in 2005 for use in domestic and foreignmarkets, a figure expected to climb to 25 million by 2009, according to CycleElectric.

      Since then,others have sought to grab a piece of the market. Taiwan's toptwo bike makers, Giant and Merida Manufacturing, are public and growing theire-bike businesses. (Giant plans about one million e-bikes a year by 2011).

      BangkokCycle, Thailand's biggest e-bike and bike maker, which sells bicycles toWal-Mart and Toys "R" Us, is expanding in Southeast Asia, and maylist too.

      But it isChina that now leads the world in electric bike production andsales. And many of its 450 million bike riders are increasingly trading up toelectric.

      In the United States, consumers are also migrating in greater numbers to e-bikes, drawn inpart by lighter and more powerful batteries and practical aids like bike lanesand lockers. E- bike sales are forecast to double by 2009 to 200,000 from100,000 in 2005.

      Further afield,e-bike sales are up in Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa, Australiaand Eastern Europe. And in bike-friendly Holland, cyclists in their 60s areopting for e-bikes to stay in shape with less strain.

      Citytactics to curb car use, like London's congestion tax, have alsogenerated interest.

      Encouragedby the trend, local governments in some regions have started offeringincentives to get more people pedaling e-bikes. In Pasadena, California,a rewards program has been developed, with cash handouts for frequent e-bikersand a $500 subsidy.

      Thesupplements effectively halve the price of a $1,000 dollar e-bike model,cutting the cost of a comparable 1990s e-bike by one-third.

      But India,perhaps, offers the most e-bike promise. Scooter-like e-bikes appeal topenny-pinching hipsters, and an e-bike craze is running fast among India's callcenter crowd.

      Thearrival of Ultra Motors, a British electric vehicle upstart which just wonrecognition from Red Herring, a technology Web site, and from the WorldEconomic Forum, attests to India's e-bike potential.

      In onlytwo months, the company has sold 4,000 e-bikes with its strategic partner, Hero, India's biggest bike maker. Ultra is incorporating its more efficient motor,designed by a Russian scientist, into Hero's bikes; it plans the same forscooters and rickshaws, for sales of up to 300,000 vehicles by 2010.

      "WhenIndians have a predictable paycheck, they buy a new pair of wheels," saidBenjamin, of Cycle Electric.

      For thesake of the environment, here's hoping more people will do the same.





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    • eugene chu
      ... Yeah, how about financial assistance for those of us who ride just, bikes? We must be even less resource intensive than electric bikes, and contribute
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 3, 2007
        --- Cycle Santa Monica <cyclesantamonica@...> wrote:

        >
        > When did the City of Pasadena (California) startgiving $500 bucks to
        > people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (seearticle
        > and source link below)
        >
        > If anyone has more info on that Pasadena e-bikeprogram, pleas let me
        > know.

        Yeah, how about financial assistance for those of us who ride just,
        bikes? We must be even less resource intensive than electric bikes,
        and contribute less to pollution. All that electric power for charging
        the batteries have to come from somewhere?

        eyc



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      • Doug
        Call 626-793-4227 Ask for Benson (626) 793-4227 2523 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 0.31 mi They have them at Jones bicycles, talk to Benson. It s a $1000 bike
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 3, 2007
          Call 626-793-4227 Ask for Benson

          (626) 793-4227
          2523 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 0.31 mi
          They have them at Jones bicycles, talk to Benson. It's a $1000 bike for $500 and an earned rebate of up to $500 for riding the bike to the train station in Pasadena. So you could end up with a FREE bike. Tell him I told you to call.


          Doug




          ----- Original Message ----
          From: eugene chu <eycchu@...>
          To: foothill-bike@yahoogroups.com; cyclesantamonica@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 12:37:04 AM
          Subject: Re: [foothill-bike] "Electric Bikes Are Taking Off" (International Herald Tribune 3/14/2007)


          --- Cycle Santa Monica <cyclesantamonica@ yahoo.com> wrote:

          >
          > When did the City of Pasadena (California) startgiving $500 bucks to
          > people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (seearticle
          > and source link below)
          >
          > If anyone has more info on that Pasadena e-bikeprogram, pleas let me
          > know.

          Yeah, how about financial assistance for those of us who ride just,
          bikes? We must be even less resource intensive than electric bikes,
          and contribute less to pollution. All that electric power for charging
          the batteries have to come from somewhere?

          eyc

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        • Cycle Santa Monica
          Re: When did the City of Pasadena (California) start giving $500 bucks to people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (see article and source link
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 4, 2007
            Re: When did the City of Pasadena (California) start giving $500 bucks to
            people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (see article and
            source link below) If anyone has more info on that Pasadena e-bike program,
            pleas let me know.

            eugene chu wrote:
            "Yeah, how about financial assistance for those of us who ride just, bikes?
            We must be even less resource intensive than electric bikes, and contribute
            less to pollution. All that electric power for charging the batteries have
            to come from somewhere?"
            .


            Eugene, you bring up a good point. And interestingly, I read that Santa Crus
            not only is offering a rebate for the purchase of electric assist bicycles,
            they are also offering a $200-300 rebate for the purchase of folding
            bicycles. (see: http://www.santacruztma.org/folding_bike.htm ).

            And for me, the prefect marriage of the ultimate utilitarian bicycle for
            urban environments would be a folding bicycle with front and rear
            suspension, full fenders, and full chain cover, and a lightweight electric
            assist hub motor in the rear wheel, a heavy duty bicycle rack in front and
            front of the bike. (see video of Brompton Folding bicycle with Nano Elsctric
            Assist hub motor kit:
            http://cyclesantamonica.blogspot.com/2007/04/folding-e-bike.html )

            And regarding the comment about charging batteries. Electricity to charge
            batteries can come from many natural sources that go unused around us, such
            as Solar, photovoltaic, and solar thermal energy, wind energy, and geo
            thermal, and hydroelectric to name a few. Also, the amount of electricity an
            electric assist bicycle would use to go 50 miles would probably be half or
            less the amount of electricity the typical CRT computer screen uses for a
            couple hours, which equates to about 20 cents or so of electricity.

            I think it is very important to remember that a bicycle with an electric
            assist motor is a fully functional human powered bicycle that has full
            capacity to be pedaled as a bicycle in addition to being able to be
            propelled by the assistance of varing amounts of power from the motor.

            I welcome further comments.

            (smile)

            thanks,
            Michael
            Cycle Santa Monica!
            Empowering Cyclists, Skaters, and Pe4estrians
            In Santa Monica and the Westside
            Using Environmentally Friendly Vehicles
            Using Earth Friendly Renewable Fuels
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyclesantamonica
            http://cyclesantmaonica.blogspotlcom




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          • Cycle Santa Monica
            Doug wrote: Call 626-793-4227 Ask for Benson 2523 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA (0.31 mi) They have them at Jones bicycles, talk to Benson. It s a $1000 bike
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 4, 2007
              Doug wrote:
              "Call 626-793-4227 Ask for Benson 2523 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA (0.31
              mi) They have them at Jones bicycles, talk to Benson. It's a $1000 bike for
              $500 and an earned rebate of up to $500 for riding the bike to the train
              station in Pasadena. So you could end up with a FREE bike. Tell him I told
              you to call."
              .


              Doug, according to this website: http://www.mygo-pasadena.com/ it is an
              instant $500 rebate off the purchase of the bike, PLUS you can earn up to
              another $30 per month. I didn't read any cap or term limit on the $30 per
              month. So I am supposing there is none set. I am supposing that the $30 per
              month deal needs to be renewed by application once a year. Is this correct?

              Thanks,
              Michael
              Cycle Santa Monica!
              Empowering Cyclists, Skaters, and Pedestrians
              In Santa Monica and the Westside
              Using Environmentally Friendly Vehicles
              Using Earth friendly Renewable Fuels
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyclesantamonica
              http://cyclesantamonica.blogspot.com




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            • Cycle Santa Monica
              Re: When did the City of Pasadena (California) start giving $500 bucks to people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (see article and source link
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 4, 2007
                Re: When did the City of Pasadena (California) start giving $500 bucks to
                people that frequently ride e-bikes? I want in on that! (see article and
                source link below) If anyone has more info on that Pasadena e-bike program,
                pleas let me know.
                eugene chu wrote:
                "Yeah, how about financial assistance for those of us who ride just, bikes?
                We must be even less resource intensive than electric bikes, and contribute
                less to pollution. All that electric power for charging the batteries have
                to come from somewhere?"
                .


                Eugene. I got a response to your question that may be of interest to you and
                others on the forum(see it at the bottom of this post). I welcome yours and
                anyone else's comments/feedback.

                Thanks,
                Michael
                Cycle Santa Monica!

                Opus wrote:
                "With the US' current energy intensive farming methods and transportation
                network, it takes about 11 times as much energy to produce the food you eat
                as you get from it. In addition the human machine is only about 25%
                efficient at converting that consumed energy to transportation. Contrast
                that with the electric bike, where the initial energy source is converted to
                electricity at about 90% efficiency, transported at another 90%, and placed
                in the battery at 90-97% and then consumed at an average efficiency of 70%
                you get a conversion rate of 51-57% from the initial energy source fossil
                fuel to transportation for the e-bike. That beats human power even before
                the rider gets on the bike 2-1 conversion vs. 11-1 just getting the food to
                the rider. Taking the food supply local and just going by the human machine
                efficiency, that's still a win for e-bikes at 2-1 compared to 4-1 for
                humans. If humans could just run on electricity a major source of global
                warming would be gone.

                And I state this as a major proponent of vehicular bicycling for
                transportation, as it is still over a hundred times more efficient than a
                private automobile for everyone. Even a city bus is still only half as
                efficient as a person on a bike when the bus is packed to the gills with
                people.
                --
                My gas is up to $.99 a burrito, $5.99 for premium, and I'm only getting 20
                miles to the regular burrito."




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              • eugene chu
                ... That is a really neat setup. One of my co-workers had one that he used to commute with, but it was not a full suspender or folding. I have commuted with
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 5, 2007
                  --- Cycle Santa Monica <cyclesantamonica@...> wrote:

                  > And for me, the prefect marriage of the ultimate utilitarian bicycle
                  > for
                  > urban environments would be a folding bicycle with front and rear
                  > suspension, full fenders, and full chain cover, and a lightweight
                  > electric
                  > assist hub motor in the rear wheel, a heavy duty bicycle rack in
                  > front and
                  > front of the bike. (see video of Brompton Folding bicycle with Nano
                  > Elsctric
                  > Assist hub motor kit:
                  > http://cyclesantamonica.blogspot.com/2007/04/folding-e-bike.html )

                  That is a really neat setup. One of my co-workers had one that he used
                  to commute with, but it was not a full suspender or folding.

                  I have commuted with my road bike, hard tail MTB, and full suspender
                  MTB. The road bike is by far the most efficient, but it's a little too
                  fragile to survive the hazards found on most roads around here. The
                  full suspender is very heavy, and makes for very tiring commutes. Of
                  course, it has the fattest tires, so the rolling resistance doesn't
                  help. It's also very wasteful to use up big knobby tires, disk brakes,
                  and suspensions on just road riding. So the optimal combination for me
                  is the hard tail MTB. I also use suspension forks that have lock-outs,
                  so it save some energy.

                  > And regarding the comment about charging batteries. Electricity to
                  > charge
                  > batteries can come from many natural sources that go unused around
                  > us, such
                  > as Solar, photovoltaic, and solar thermal energy, wind energy, and
                  > geo
                  > thermal, and hydroelectric to name a few. Also, the amount of
                  > electricity an
                  > electric assist bicycle would use to go 50 miles would probably be
                  > half or
                  > less the amount of electricity the typical CRT computer screen uses
                  > for a
                  > couple hours, which equates to about 20 cents or so of electricity.

                  Yes, it would be great if there was actually a more wide spread
                  infrastructure of electricity generation from those alternate energy
                  sources. Most electric power is unfortunately, still generated by coal
                  furnaces.

                  I seem to recall the power usage of one of my large CRT monitors is
                  about 65 watts. The Nano hub motor draw 350 watts max. Using the
                  10AHr LiIon battery pack available with that system, the bike will
                  operate for about an hour at full power. The Nano specs say that the
                  motor alone will propel a bike and rider to about 15mph, so the range
                  is about 15 miles. The monitor should run for about 5.5 hours on the
                  same batteries.

                  > I think it is very important to remember that a bicycle with an
                  > electric
                  > assist motor is a fully functional human powered bicycle that has
                  > full
                  > capacity to be pedaled as a bicycle in addition to being able to be
                  > propelled by the assistance of varing amounts of power from the
                  > motor.

                  Too bad these electric assist systems don't also have regenerative
                  braking. That should really extend their range.

                  > Opus wrote:
                  > "With the US' current energy intensive farming methods and
                  > transportation
                  > network, it takes about 11 times as much energy to produce the food
                  > you eat
                  > as you get from it. In addition the human machine is only about 25%
                  > efficient at converting that consumed energy to transportation.
                  > Contrast
                  > that with the electric bike, where the initial energy source is
                  > converted to
                  > electricity at about 90% efficiency, transported at another 90%, and

                  I'm not sure about this first number; what kind of energy source are
                  they starting with? The typical Otto or Diesel cycle engine is closer
                  to 25% efficient at converting burned fuel into mechanical energy. A
                  gas turbine, one of the most efficient ICE, is at best 50% efficient.

                  > placed
                  > in the battery at 90-97% and then consumed at an average efficiency

                  Battery charging is closer to 70% efficient.

                  > of 70%
                  > you get a conversion rate of 51-57% from the initial energy source
                  > fossil
                  > fuel to transportation for the e-bike. That beats human power even
                  >
                  > before
                  > the rider gets on the bike 2-1 conversion vs. 11-1 just getting the
                  > food to
                  > the rider. Taking the food supply local and just going by the human
                  > machine
                  > efficiency, that's still a win for e-bikes at 2-1 compared to 4-1 for
                  > humans. If humans could just run on electricity a major source of
                  > global
                  > warming would be gone.

                  The best efficiency for the electricity charging batteries and powering
                  motors process is closer to 25%. This would make this analysis of
                  energy consumption equivalent for both human powered vs electric bikes
                  for locally obtained food. For food shipped in from other places,
                  efficiency of the electric bike seems to beat human power by almost
                  3:1.

                  Some anthropologists say that humans started to destroy the earth when
                  they stopped being hunter/gatherers and became farmers.

                  eyc



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