Going electric: How e-bikes are revolutionizing people's commutes
High gas prices, heavy traffic and long commutes might have you looking for another way to get around. And an electric bike may be the answer. E-bikes have been around for a while but they’ve made a lot of improvements and are growing in popularity.
Since Greg Wong purchased his e-bike, it’s been difficult to get him off it. You can find him cruising around all over town.
“It was so much fun. I knew that this was something that I really wanted to get into. So I bought one," he said.
An e-bike is a bicycle with a battery, a motor and settings from one to five to assist you with pedalling. You still get the exercise from pedalling, but your speed gets a boost, which can make your commute a whole lot easier.
“Oh yeah, there’s lots of power, more than enough that you need inside the city,” explained Wong.
The battery takes three to six hours to charge and will take you 25 to almost 100 kilometres depending on the type of battery, rider weight, terrain and level of pedalling.
"I went for my longest ride – about 57 kilometers – and it didn't even use up half the battery," Wong said.
Ann MacLennan recently opened Vancouver’s latest electric bike store, Pedego in Kitsilano, where bikes range in price from $3,200 to more than $5,000.
“I think it’s an exploding market,” she said, “[People like] the baby boomers are ready for a little extra help.”
From cargo style to a three-wheeler with a basket, to off roading models made for mountain trails, there are electric bikes for everyone.
But to ride an e-bike in B.C. you must be 16 and wear a helmet, and the motor can be no more than 500 watts with a top speed of 32 km/h without pedalling.
If you’re considering buying an e-bike, go online and check out reviews. And check the warranty. You want to ensure you’re covered if something breaks down.
Also, keep your bike maintained. It’s recommended you take your e-bike in twice a year for maintanence.
Correction: We want to clarify that the video report incorrectly stated the battery of an ebike can be no more than 500 watts. It's the motor that can be no more than 500 watts not the battery. Apologies for the confusion on that.