• Monday, May 18th, 2009

Montreal’s Ecolo Cycles produces bicycles with electric motors. Technically, they are called “electricity-assisted bicycles” and the company is doing well, last year selling $1.5-million worth of electricity-assisted bicycles and scooters in Quebec alone.

The company is launching a new, fully loaded $3,000 electricity and pedal-powered scooter that has a range of 100 km and zips along urban streets at 32 km/h. Next year, after testing by Transport Canada, they will introduce two sporty electric scooters that will reach speeds of 70 km/h and 90 km/h.

So, it looks like this electric bike is quickly turning into a scooter!


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3 Responses

  1. 1

    Electric bikes are wrong!

    We are forgetting the personal health benefits (and lower societal health care costs) of actually pedaling a bike. Because people who buy an electric bike don’t pedal, and here’s why: no one pedals a 70 pound bicycle! The press the button and get exercise-free mobility. There is so much wrong with this!

    To say nothing of the problem of getting one of these things repaired when it’s technology inevitably fails. Because it’s still cheap chinese junk, despite the hefty price tag.

  2. 2

    Oh, I forgot the mention that the company name “Ecolo”-Cycles is green washing of the highest order.

  3. 3

    Green washing – is that what all this is?

    I drive a triathelon bicycle for leasure, but have tested a few electric bicycles, talked to a large number of owners. These were strictly ‘bicycle’ and not ‘scooter’ style electric assisted bicycles and here’s my own impressions:

    They are actually fun to drive! Some models have various levels of pedal assisstance and every model I tried could be easily pedelled with the battery turned off – that was something I was interested in myself. I have a friend that loves bicycling but had a knee injury that acts up after a few hours on a bicycle and this would be an ideal solution for her. She loves to go bicycling with her grandkids and wantd to be sure that there won’t be any issues or that she’ll aggravate that injury.

    I’ve also met a couple people that leave the batteries at home and use pedal power only except on longer excursions on weekends when the bike is equipped with fully loaded saddlebags and the electric assistance is a real asset. Without the battery, the bike is actually about 10 lbs lighter, and although it may not compete weight wise with a carbon fibre road bike – did you know that a $1,300 Kona Sutra touring bike weighs 30lbs naked??? A Velec S5 weighs 45lbs without the battery – not 70lbs. Just my own opinion, but since rider weight can vary between 110 and 250lbs and loaded saddle bags can add another 20 to 40lbs – the weight of the bicycle itself is vastly exaggerated in importance. Leisure riding isn’t a competative sport unless you want to compete to see who has the most fun – in which case he-who-stays-home loses!

    Electric assist bikes also let a lot of people commute to work by bicycle without needing a shower when they get there. Yup – they do require less energy to pedel when the battery assistance is engaged. Is that a bad thing? Did you know bicycling is actually more effecient than walking? Anyone interested in using the most possible energy should therefore give up bikes altogether and stick with their Nikes!!

    And Chinese junk? Most of the ones I’ve seen have Shimano parts on them – including the few with disk brakes. Sure – a lot of those parts are manufactured in Asia (not necessarily China) – but they are also EXACTLY THE SAME PARTS that you’d find on some models of regular non-electrical bikes. Yup – there probably is junk on the market – but that goes for regular bikes too and anything else you can think of.

    It was actually the batteries in these that put me off. A limit of 300 to 500 charges just wasn’t all that inviting for a very expensive battery. But the latest generation uses lead free LiFePO4 technology and is rated for 1,500 to 2,000 cycles. At 50km per charge that translates to 75,000 totally gas free kms.

    Now I’m thinking about buying one.

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