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Discussion Starter #1
Matthew: =

When I was at a Paris EV show last year I saw with Delight, the Wave Crest =
Tidal force is still extant in the world.. The French were surprised to hea=
r an American's endorsement of the bike... Evidently it was Licensed to a U=
S university..maybe Illinois? and when the license expired the French took =
it back and are continuing to make improvements and expand the line.. The d=
eal of the century is that the price was the same in Euros or dollars..excl=
uding shipping..That offer may have only been for the show..The salesman to=
ld me they were available for hire on beaches in the south, but it was so l=
ate in the season, they had all been put into hibernation by the time I got=
there
PS the Parisians were thrilled to drive e-bikes but the cost was beyond the=
m too!
KO
I don't shop where I can't charge.
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 14:24:49 -0600
From: "Childress, Matthew" <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: [EVDL] How to promote the use of electric bicycles
(eBikes)
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>, "SEVA"
<[email protected]>
Message-ID:
=

I read your post with great interest, as eBikes are becoming a passion for =
me (even though I don't have one yet, the Twike doesn't qualify as it is ov=
erpowered from a legal standpoint).

For me, I think that a folding eBike is the holy grail as it easily
allows transportation mode shifting (going from bicycle to train/bus back t=
o bicycle/car is one example). I see the eBike as the perfect around-tow=
n/commuting mobile, however if you get to work and it starts raining cats a=
nd dogs at 4:30pm... fold it up, take it on the bus/train.
Most buses only have one or two spots for bicycles on their racks, which
fill up quickly when it rains. Many train systems do not allow bicycles
on them during peak hours (rush hour). A folder gets around both of
these issues, and it doesn't take up much space in an apartment, can
easily go up an elevator, can go into the coffee shop with you so you
don't have to lock it up/risk it getting stolen/vandalized... =


If you need a full-sized folder, there's this one:
http://www.montaguebikes.com/ The tidalforce wavecrest was based on
their paratrooper model...
http://www.electrikmotion.com/Tidal%20Force%20Electric%20Bike.htm
Stick a Magic Pie by Golden Motors on one of those and you've quickly got a=
WaveCrest TidalForce again... you've still gotta figure out lighting and f=
enders though... Tidalforce *WAS* one of those quality eBikes, and they =
couldn't make it financially apparently.

There are several factors that I've yet to see on eBikes that makes *none* =
of them qualify as "the perfect ride" in my book, which if you try to solve=
them after the fact it results in a stuck-on/tacked-on look:
=

* Lack of integrated lighting system -- I've had my lights
ripped off more often than I can count
* Lack of integrated locking system... (folding solves this
mostly)
* No front fairing (optional -- this dramatically improves
comfort & efficiency as shown by =

Craig Vetter, inventor of the motorcycle fairing)
* No cruise control. The Twike has cruise and it's awesome!
Cruise is the most efficient way to ride.
* Poor Center of Gravity, due to placement of batteries usually o=
n the back rack or =

* Sanyo eneloop does a good job on this
* The [email protected]#[email protected] cross-bar/top tube: I have a good friend who
bicycles all the time, and he said if he had
to go to just one bike, it'd be his folder cause while he's
spry and fit, he's also older and swinging
his leg up over the crossbar is getting more difficult
* Derailleurs. They stink. Internal hub system like the
NuVinci CVT while less efficient that a perfectly
in-tune derailleur, keeping a derailleur perfectly maintained
is difficult -- reliability is one of the factors
behind the fixed gear movement (bicycle messengers)
* Lack of basic features, like chain guards, fenders, mud flaps, =
etc.
* the inheirient unstableness of a 2-wheeler that you can't
easily put your feet down (recumbents and/or Trikes solve this)

I look at eBicycle conversions much as I do eCar conversions -- it's only w=
orth doing if you're in love with the base vehicle first, else you might as=
well build it from the ground up as you'll get a better performing and loo=
king vehicle -- I've yet to see an eBike that doesn't look like things are =
just 'tacked on' to a regular bike. The Sanyo Eneloop comes the closest.=
One such option is the "beach cruiser" electrified -- these people aren=
't "real bicyclists" they are "real
people". Real bicyclists don't buy bicycles with motors on 'em -- go to =
any bicycle shop and you'll figure that out really quickly.

The 1950's era Beach Cruiser bicycle often already had things like chain gu=
ards, fenders, mud-flaps, integrated lighting systems (update to LED)... no=
derailleur, lower top tube, better suspension (fat tyres)...

[email protected]







=

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Discussion Starter #2
I agree that electric bikes are the "new frontier" for EVs. I have two,
and have built a number of them as well.

But I also agree that they seem excessively expensive. When you can buy
an electric scooter for $100, it does seem unreasonable for the same
parts on an Ebike to cost over $1000.

I do understand the marketing reasons for this. Early adopters are
expected to pay high prices, and to demand rather excessive amounts of
overdesign and style. So, virtually all Ebikes are built as high-end
packages with elaborate styling, high-tech components, and heavy
marketing expenses.

The funny thing is, you can get 80% of the performance for 20% of the
cost. And often, that 80% is such a big improvement over a regular bike
that when given the choice, I think more people would opt for the
"economy" model. Which would sell better:

1. A $1000 premium bike with a $1000 electric drive package?
2. A $100 Chinese bike with a $100 electric drive package?

Judging from the electric scooter model, they would sell 100 times more
#2 Ebikes. Sure; the low quality means they don't last long: But it gets
people to give it a try. If even 10% decide they like Ebikes, they will
go on to buy a better quality model that lasts.

In our BEST program, we've had many kids build Ebikes with a 12v
automotive motor, friction drive roller on the wheel, a 12v lead-acid
battery, and on/off switch for a 'controller'. They love it! It costs
under $100, can be built in an afternoon, and works so much better than
pedalling!
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Lee,

Look in http://.walmart.com/catalog/product for in warehouse electric bikes=
. =

I bought my ebike back in 2006 from them for $279.46. The bike which is a =

heavy frame (110 lbs mountain bike) was converted by Currie in California t=
o =

a electric cruiser comfort bicycle with very smooth wide tires.

They use this frame because it has a built in vertical space behind the sea=
t =

post and tire that is 6 inches square by 19 inches high which was design to =

carry a cargo pack that holds the battery box and controller.

There is actually a cast aluminum battery box that is 5 inches square by 14 =

inches long that holds two seal 12 volt batteries. The battery container =

slid downs into this space and locks in. The controller is under the =

battery box which plugs into the side of the battery box with a plug. I ca=
n =

unplug this controller plug and plug in the charger.

It also have a accelerator handle control that has a battery state of charg=
e =

indicator which shows from 100%, 75%, 50% and 20%. I have never took it =

below 75%.

It has a 1/2 hp motor with a 9 to 1 gear box which has a lot of torque. Yo=
u =

have to very careful on first starting out, or you can flip your self back =

wards which I just about did. You can also flip your self forward, if you =

use too much brakes.

I only use the bike in the summer to climb a very steep hill to the Hill To=
p =

Caf=E9 for about a mile a day since 2006. I am still going on the same =

battery pack.

I do not know how they did this bike for $276.46. Now today you look at th=
e =

site and they are now $1000.00.

Roland


----- Original Message ----- =

From: "Lee Hart" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] .... electric bicycles (eBikes)...Wave Crest Tidal Force


> I agree that electric bikes are the "new frontier" for EVs. I have two,
> and have built a number of them as well.
>
> But I also agree that they seem excessively expensive. When you can buy
> an electric scooter for $100, it does seem unreasonable for the same
> parts on an Ebike to cost over $1000.
>
> I do understand the marketing reasons for this. Early adopters are
> expected to pay high prices, and to demand rather excessive amounts of
> overdesign and style. So, virtually all Ebikes are built as high-end
> packages with elaborate styling, high-tech components, and heavy
> marketing expenses.
>
> The funny thing is, you can get 80% of the performance for 20% of the
> cost. And often, that 80% is such a big improvement over a regular bike
> that when given the choice, I think more people would opt for the
> "economy" model. Which would sell better:
>
> 1. A $1000 premium bike with a $1000 electric drive package?
> 2. A $100 Chinese bike with a $100 electric drive package?
>
> Judging from the electric scooter model, they would sell 100 times more
> #2 Ebikes. Sure; the low quality means they don't last long: But it gets
> people to give it a try. If even 10% decide they like Ebikes, they will
> go on to buy a better quality model that lasts.
>
> In our BEST program, we've had many kids build Ebikes with a 12v
> automotive motor, friction drive roller on the wheel, a 12v lead-acid
> battery, and on/off switch for a 'controller'. They love it! It costs
> under $100, can be built in an afternoon, and works so much better than
> pedalling!
> -- =

> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
> | UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> | OTHER HELP: http://evdl.org/help/
> | OPTIONS: http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
> =


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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, it has been my experience when a new or unfamiliar technology is
introduced to the masses that it is best received if the quality is good and
replacement parts are readily available. If the product is poorly built, and
parts are non existent, then most people will write the entire industry off
in the same fashion.
Examples of this would be the commonly used man lifts that became the
industry standard 10 years ago versus the electric pocket scooters from
china that were marketed at Costco. It will be a challenge to sell any
electric vehicle to most of the people who bought the pocket bike, even
though they thought the product while looking forward. They have experienced
poor quality with a lot of hype, and zero product support, reinforced by the
ridicule of their peers (for stepping outside of the box).
Because we are seen as a new technology, we cannot afford to build a cheap,
inferior,untested product that has little or no supporting infastructure.
Doing so will only insure our failure.

"Lee Hart" <[email protected]> wrote:

I agree that electric bikes are the "new frontier" for EVs. I have two,
and have built a number of them as well.

But I also agree that they seem excessively expensive. When you can buy
an electric scooter for $100, it does seem unreasonable for the same
parts on an Ebike to cost over $1000.

I do understand the marketing reasons for this. Early adopters are
expected to pay high prices, and to demand rather excessive amounts of
overdesign and style. So, virtually all Ebikes are built as high-end
packages with elaborate styling, high-tech components, and heavy
marketing expenses.

The funny thing is, you can get 80% of the performance for 20% of the
cost. And often, that 80% is such a big improvement over a regular bike
that when given the choice, I think more people would opt for the
"economy" model. Which would sell better:

1. A $1000 premium bike with a $1000 electric drive package?
2. A $100 Chinese bike with a $100 electric drive package?

Judging from the electric scooter model, they would sell 100 times more
#2 Ebikes. Sure; the low quality means they don't last long: But it gets
people to give it a try. If even 10% decide they like Ebikes, they will
go on to buy a better quality model that lasts.

In our BEST program, we've had many kids build Ebikes with a 12v
automotive motor, friction drive roller on the wheel, a 12v lead-acid
battery, and on/off switch for a 'controller'. They love it! It costs
under $100, can be built in an afternoon, and works so much better than
pedalling!
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen


_______________________________________________
| REPLYING: address your message to [email protected]
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Discussion Starter #5
Thos True wrote:
> Actually, it has been my experience when a new or unfamiliar technology is
> introduced to the masses that it is best received if the quality is good and
> replacement parts are readily available.

Except that when it is first introduced, all products claim high quality
and excellent service. No one knows whether it is true or not for a year
or more *after* they have bought it.

> If the product is poorly built, and
> parts are non existent, then most people will write the entire industry off
> in the same fashion.

Sometimes. But the vast majority of bicycles (and many other products)
are now sold this way (poorly built, and repair parts almost
nonexistent). People buy them anyway. When it breaks, they throw it out
and buy another one. They prefer cheap over quality or repairability.

> Because we are seen as a new technology, we cannot afford to build a cheap,
> inferior,untested product that has little or no supporting infastructure.
> Doing so will only insure our failure.

But it's a funny thing: While an inferior product dooms the company that
made it to fail, it jump-starts a new industry into being very quickly.
New companies blossom to replace the failed ones. They claim everything
is fixed, and (amazingly) *consumers believe them*! They buy *again*!
And get burned again!

But, progress does get made. The industry blunders recklessly forward.
The first products have a dozen major flaws and shortcomings; the second
generation only has a few fatal flaws, the third generation only one or
two, etc.

As chaotic and reckless as this process is, it still moves the industry
forward faster than just about anything else. For examples, just look at
the car industry, or calculators, or computers.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

_______________________________________________
| REPLYING: address your message to [email protected] only.
| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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