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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 19, 2010

NEW 50 POUND E-BIKE COULD MAKE AMERICAN MARKET

NY Times - Electric bicycles - a regular pedal-driven bike with a motor for steeper slopes and an optional extra boost - is an idea that has been around for more than a century. But while e-bikes have caught on in certain parts of the world, particularly China, where tens of millions are sold each year, they have never quite captured the imagination of auto-obsessed Americans.

That may be about to change. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Sanyo, the Japanese electronics maker and a major producer of car batteries, showed off a sleek, lightweight e-bike called the Eneloop Hybrid Bicycle.

The Eneloop, priced at $2,300, came to stores in the United States late last year. It operates like any normal bike and, save for the black lithium-ion battery strapped to the frame beneath the seat, looks exactly like one as well. But when you press a button on the left handlebar, a 250-watt motor gently kicks in, providing about twice the power as your own pedaling - and making you feel like Lance Armstrong on even the steepest slopes.

“The average auto trip in the U.S. is five miles or less,” said David Cabanban, bicycle business manager at Sanyo North America. “At the end of the day, how do you lower pollution and get people healthy? We’ve got to get people back to riding bikes.”

The entire Eneloop weights about 50 pounds.


2 Comments:

Anonymous wellbasically said...

This will help with all the sweating.

January 20, 2010 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The price is far to high for it to make a difference in the people's lives that it needs to make a difference in.

January 21, 2010 8:15 PM  

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