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 You would think America would embrace the e-bike

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Eric

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PostSubject: You would think America would embrace the e-bike   Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:01 pm

Instead, some states & cities have outlawed them.





Quote :
Lawmakers, manufacturers and transportation experts have focused much of their attention on electric cars, with still-disappointing results, but consumers in many parts of the world are embracing electric bikes, which in addition to the usual pedals have small battery-powered motors to speed things along.
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The number of electric-powered bicycles in China just passed the 200 million mark (link in Chinese), manufactures are reporting 200% annual sales growth in Brazil, sales are strong in Europe and the Philippines is ordering 100,000 electricity-powered three wheelers, just one of several Asian nations investing in e-bikes.
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E-bikes normally travel at speeds of 20 to 30 mph (32 to 48 kph), they charge from a regular electric socket and starting at about $1,000 per bike they’re rather affordable, at least compared to electric cars. You can even build one yourself for much less. They also can eliminate a notorious bike commuter fear—the sweaty arrival to the office in a suit that’s going to smell funky all day—and allow older and less physically fit riders more mobility than a traditional bicycle.
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Strangely, most US politicians are doing little to encourage their use, and some are actively discouraging it. Although President George W. Bush signed a 2002 federal law that exempts electric bikes with speeds under 20 mph and less than 750 watts of power from state motor vehicle licensing requirements, individual states have introduced at least 47 different was of clamping down on their use. The confusion has spawned websites to address questions like “Is my e-bike legal?, and helped to keep sales low. Of the 29.3 million e-bikes sold in 2012, just 53,000 were sold in the US, according to Navigant Research.
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With traditional bicycle use growing in many US cities, there is also a brewing culture clash between traditional bike purists and e-bikes over whether the motorized versions should be used in bike lanes or relegated to the regular roads, and whether using an e-bike is “cheating.”
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Some US cities, citing safety concerns, have banned them altogether: New York outlawed e-bikes in 2012 as part of a war against reckless delivery people, a move critics said was akin to making cars illegal because of drunk drivers. In April, Manhattan’s City Council voted to fine businesses as much as $250 just for having an e-bike on the premises.
Longer, complete article http://qz.com/137518/consumers-the-world-over-love-electric-bikes-so-why-do-us-lawmakers-hate-them/

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