The Electric Bike Revolution
The electric bicycle is an invention that has been around for years. While it looks almost the same as a traditional bicycle, it has one key difference – an electric motor. The motor allows the rider to still move even when they are not pedaling and assists in the pedal-power. Electronic bikes, also known as e-bikes even have the ability to go up to 30mph. This form of transportation is growing in popularity in countries around the world.
The first documented electronic bike was in the 1890s. there were several patents filed for bicycles that operated using a battery. Of course, the models back then were very different from what they are now. In 1898 the first bicycle utilizing rear-wheel-drive was designed and patented. By the end of the 1990s, power controls were developed and used by Japanese e-bike manufacturers. But it wasn’t until 2001 that the electric bike became synonymous with the motorbike. The difference, however, is that motorbikes achieve a top speed of 50mph and are more of a motorcycle-bicycle hybrid. Today, electronic bikes are used by 20% of the population in major cities as a way to get around.
Styles of E-Bikes
Just like with traditional bikes, you find that there are is a girls bike and a boys bike for ebikes. The style is still related to the way the cross bar lines up between the handlebars and the seat. They are also classified by either having “power on demand” or “pedal assistance”. For pedal assisted models, also called pedelecs, there is a sensor that determines how you are pedaling the bicycle. It factors in your force and speed to allow the motor push you along. Power on demand models operate more like a scooter or moped. These use a throttle on the handlebar to accelerate and slow down.
The laws on registering these styles varies by state. As a general rule, if you are riding a pedal assisted model then it is classified as a bicycle. However, if you are using the on demand model then it is classified as a moped. Most states require mopeds to be registered and insured although you may not need a license to operate it.
You are probably wondering who still really rides a bicycle these days. The answer is – MANY people. In bigger cities and beach front communities the bicycle and moped are common forms of transportation. Both vehicle operate in the lane with traffic and are permissible on all non-highway roads. States like Florida require a special E Class license for moped riders where as states like North Carolina do not require any licensing whatsoever.
Electronic bicycles – both styles – are ideal for people who live on a limited budget or who are trying to save money. Always remember to wear a helmet if you choose this as your mode of transportation. Unfortunately, other drivers on the road as not as careful or pleased by the eco-friendly choice of bicycle riders. Electronic bicycles cost about twice as much as a traditional model but they can be purchased at most bicycle shops.