1) VietNamNet Bridge - Electric bikes sell like hot cakes as petrol price soars
Sales of electric bicycles are surging like the price of petrol as they are far cheaper to run and their riders don’t need a license or helmet. Electric bikes have been on the local market for a few years but failed to take off until 12 months ago. Now that high school kids are no longer allowed to ride motorbikes and the price of petrol has soared, the electric bike shops are seeing hordes of customers.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the bike shops along Vo Thi Sau and Cach Mang Thang Tam streets have switched to selling electric bikes. “Most of our customers are after electric bikes, though once in a while someone asks for a straight bicycle. Since before the Lunar New Year, we have sold 15-20 electric bikes per week, sometimes double that number,” an employee of H-M said.
2) USA Today - Europe's latest craze: Electric bikes
More than 10,000 electric bikes were sold in France last year, up from 6,000 in 2006, according to the Conseil National des Professions du Cycle, an association of bike professionals.
And the trend is hitting all of Europe. Sales of power-assisted bikes in Germany this year are expected to double the 60,000 sold in 2007, according to Hannes Neupert, manager of ExtraEnergy, a nonprofit organization promoting light electric vehicles headquartered in Tanna, Germany.In the Netherlands, sales of electric-powered bikes increased from 45,000 in 2006 to 89,000 last year, according BOVAG, a motorized vehicles industry association, which expects that the meter will read 121,000 at the end of 2008. That compares with an estimated 10,000 units sold across the U.S. in 2007.
Well, all this leads up to the announcement that The Hub will be carrying the Giant Twist Freedom in 2009. The Twist is not a pure electric bike, but is a hybrid that still requires pedaling and has a computer and electric motor that assist the rider. The Twist incorporates state-of-the-art technology developed in conjunction with Panasonic. It is designed to assist the rider by measuring the pedaling pressure of the rider and providing an equivalent amount of assistance. It has a range of 70 miles and is one of the smoothest riding electric/hybrid bikes available. More info at: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/backoffice/_upload_us/bikes/models/brochure/2009/6-08hybridbroch.pdf
All types of bikes for all types of people
While I have some personal reservations about electric bikes I try to weight them against some of the benefits. For example, while electric bikes are still generally plugged into a power plant, they do present a more efficient form of transportation than most other motorized vehilcles. They also open the door for folks that face physical restrictions.
signing out Fair and Balanced