As the technology behind electric scooters and e-bikes further improves their speed and range, Americans have increasingly turned to alternate means of transportation to avoid volatile gas prices. Perhaps Tesla and the Chevy Volt helped initially warm the American market up to the idea of life beyond the classic gasoline car since even the iconic Vespa and Harley Davidson have gone electric. Often hailed as the perfect last-mile option electric scooter rental companies have helped pave the legislative way for private usage. As we reported in May, scooter sharing companies have begun to potentially revolutionize alternative green energy by showcasing demand and serving as a foothold into the increasingly expanding electronic vehicle (EV) industry.
Once only limited to pedal assist, super e-bikes have emerged and blurred the lines between bike and moped. Super e-bikes such as Super 73 and Onyx’s lineups allow for riders to only rely on the throttle instead of needing to pedal at all. Super 73’s S1 can reach 20 mph without pushing a pedal and reach speeds up to 34 mph when using both the throttle and pedals. The S1 also reports a range of 30-35 miles if one were to rely solely on the throttle before needing to recharge using a standard wall outlet. Onyx’s upcoming RCR promises a range of 75 miles and a top speed of 60 mph. These super e-bikes typically range from 45 to 120 pounds.
Depending on the state, they are often fully operable up to 20 mph without a license, registration, insurance, or paid parking—unlike motorcycles and mopeds. Often they are even allowed in bike lanes and are compact enough to fit between lanes, so one isn’t stuck in traffic. Additionally, some models also allow riders to carry a passenger. Some riders have begun to ditch their cars in favor of cargo e-bikes that even enable them to haul their children comfortably. Foldable e-bikes allow cyclists to store their bikes under their desks and arrive at their office without having broken a sweat. As a cheaper alternative to cars, motorcycles, and mopeds, perhaps the new wave of e-bikes, often ranging from $1,000 to upwards of $3,000, will grow to be as iconic in America as Vespa’s are in Italy.
The Verge reported Kymco’s upcoming electric scooters could signal the evolution of the sharing economy as it relates to EVs and advances to swappable batteries and public charging stations. The New Many 110 EV is $1,600 after local subsidies and boast a high speed of 37 mph as well as a 37-mile range. However, the scooter has enough storage to fit three extra batteries and therefore theoretically have a 120-mile range. Similar to Tesla’s business model, Gogoro’s lineup might transform the industry by allowing users to replace their dying batteries with a fully charged one. A rider would only need to take out their battery, insert it in a designated charging stand for it to recharge, and take a new fully charged one all without having to wait or ever return for their original battery.
As more brands offer electric and hybrid models, perhaps now is the time to consider going electric. Traditionally, electricity costs less than gas and would save consumers money over the life of the car. According to Fleet Carma, electric cars “cost significantly less to run and maintain than a gas-powered car. There is no gas to buy, no oil changes, no smog tests, and fewer moving parts to break or wear out. In fact, many electric car owners go years without any repair or service bills at all.” In being able to avoid the gas station in favor of charging at home or on the go, EVs and hybrid EVs allow for added flexibility all while offering near silent torque that is often far quicker than gas. Additionally, EVs don’t havetailpipe emissions, and therefore, as reported by Fleet Carma, “we can look forward to cleaner air when there are more electric cars on the road. Cleaner air means less disease in the world, which means less stress on public health systems, hospitals, and so on. Additionally, fewer greenhouse gas emissions can reduce our carbon footprint.” As subsidies make going electric more affordable and technology continues to improve performance, the future appears bright with EVs.
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