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Monday, April 6, 2015

4-4 Electric Bike

This is such an awesome concept. I have not tried one yet myself, but this is the year for me, I'm about to buy an electric scooter. The scooter, from an Indian company, Mahindra will have a thirty mile range (getting me nearly all the way to work on a single charge) and the removable battery pack charges in just a few hours. I have friends who have electrified their own bikes, but the ground up design of the Mahindra scooter makes it ideal for my needs. Combining the most efficient motive force generator, the electric motor, with the bicycle, the most efficient means of transport available, slashes carbon emissions but still moves our bodies from place to place. Remember, not long ago, the Segway scooter seemed poised to revolutionize the personal transportation market. That would have required both charging stations and parking for the devices, neither of which seem to be forthcoming. With electric bikes, the infrastructure for parking exists most places already and remote charging of smaller batteries, that can be removed from the vehicles get us back into existing infrastructure support.

Worldwide, air pollution kills three million people per year. Three times the number who die in car accidents. Air pollution can create or complicate, asbestosis, chronic bronchitis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, sinusitis, mesothelioma and other forms of lung cancer. It has been calculated that fly ash alone, a waste product from coal-fired electric generating facilities in the U.S. alone accounts for as many deaths as adding 100,000 new smokers to our population every year. Think about that the next time you have a choice between an efficient electric product and an inefficient one. any steps we can take to reign in our use of fossil energy is good and reducing the demand side of the equation will always be cheaper and more effective than trying to clean up the mess we have to make increasing supply.

I have always been a bike fanatic. When I got my first tricycle, the front wheel was tiny and my feet had to spin wildly to go slowly, which was not much fun. But the day I got my large wheel tricycle, I felt my first taste of freedom. That bike allowed me to go up and down the sidewalk like the wind. Bikes can actually move us through town and traffic faster than large vehicles can. I have actually rode circles around giant semis just for fun when I was a young punk. The drivers are trapped, like giant beetles on their backs, unable to get up much speed. They may have significant power to weight ratios, but because of their mass, have to start out slow. A bike can get up to speed in just a few turns of the crank. The aesthetic design, the beauty of the bicycle is that form has followed function so elegantly that it "works". On short trips especially, it is far less hassle than a car and with a motor assist, your legs are spared for part or all of the trip.

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