As Electric Bike Technology Leaps Ahead month after month, Britain and Western Europe are slowly waking up to this new and exciting form of short-distance transport. Is it truly revolutionary, or just another passing fad?
Fads don’t normally sell in multiples of millions, yet electric bikes are selling better than iPods in some areas of the world like China. In fact most of Asia seems to be catching onto the concept, streets ahead of the rest of the world including Europe and North America.
The innovators in China have seen mass-produced electric bikes through their early development, and in recent years exporters have seen the best of these shipped and sold worldwide. But the Europeans and Americans are now playing catchup especially as people are realizing
how much they could save.
Electric bicycles are no longer in prototype stage; there are a few dozen and growing number of UK producers of British electric bikes, carrying on the work originally developed by their Chinese counterparts. Further innovations in strength and lightness of the bikes construction, their batteries and visual appeal are happening everyday.
There are now a handful of really innovative British bike makers like the following as electric bike technology leads ahead further:
Powabyke produces thousands of ebikes for local commuters, authorities and police forces. The Bath-based company recently backed 66 year old Eddie Sedgemore – the man told he would never walk again - in breaking the World Record for the Longest Distance on a Motorized Bicycle, criss-crossing the UK covering almost 2,000 miles on a Powabyke.
Go Cycle is a the result of Richard Thorpe’s work at Karbon Kinetic - a firm focused on creating light electric vehicles. The Go Cycle electric bike is the first of many products to be rolled out; here the Gadget Inspectors get excited about this electric innovation.
Cytronex has introduced what it dubs as “the World’s Lightest Electric Bike”. Weighing in as little as 12.9kg (about the weight of a small child) Cytronex bikes are becoming more and more popular, particularly around the South. They’re eBikes have been featured on BBC Radio Solent, the Gadget Show and several publications including the Daily Echo.
A Cytronex electric bicycle - the "water bottle's" the battery
Peter Eland, editor of Electric Bike Magazine puts together a fantastic quarterly magazine featuring the latest news, guides and in-depth reviews on electric bikes in the UK. And you can read it all online too.