Electric scooter a lion in lambs clothes

in

I have read some comments on the scooter issue. Same story different decade. People see people do. The e scooters look like gas scooters so the gas scooters can do what they do. Thats not really what I want to address. truth is the scooters are here and they look like they are only going to become more prolific.

Here is my beef. The batteries. The general perception is that electric scooter are "green" They have wonderful potential. The brushless hub motor's are a revolution in efficiency. With only 3 moving parts the are going to change the way we think about propulsion...but the ebikes almost always are LOADED with lead acid batteries. Each 24 or 36 or 48 V lead acid battery is a toxic time bomb. They are wasteful, outdated technology that has nothing green about it.

The truth is Lithium batteries will go further, do more work and last longer than any other battery. A lithium battery to power a e scooter will cost about $800, and last trouble free for up to 1000 cycles.The Lead acid battery of the same size will weigh 7 times as much, and last for only 300cycles (at best, if the winter in the garage doesn't kill it first). They cost about $250. After 5 seasons you will have replaced the lead acid battery 4 to 5 times, at a cost of $1000 to $1200.

We need to be aware that as people begin to use these batteries, they will begin to pile up in someones backyard.

Any ebike can be converted to Lithium batteries. A standard 36V 9Ah pack can be had for under $300. Anyone who owns one of these bikes should have more than enough motivation to upgrade to Lithium the next time they replace their stock lead acid or NiMh battery.

Oh ya, and scooters, please stay off the sidewalks.
and cars, well , i dunno why you are always so asleep?

Oh ya,

I forgot to mention that when the scooters batteries fail, and are replaced with green Lithium's, they are likely to get their hands on upgraded controllers and other mods which will push these bikes way beyond 30km/hr. Check out the Zero motorcycle. with a quick and cheap controller mod any electric scooter, or converted e bikes will be able to easily maintain speeds of 60km/h++

Speeding is speeding, but being able to keep up with traffic is essential for eliminating the beef between cars and bikes. Less cars, less traffic, faster ebikes and zero emission alternatives,hey the future looks pretty good!

Yea lithium-ion batteries are more effecient but are they recyclable?

If they aren't you can't claim to be green. What waste does a bicycle produce? Maybe a broken tire now and again but those CAN be recycled or atleast downcycled (not as good but better than landfill).

Oh and to go off on a tirade...

Everyone casually forgets the first R of the 3R's

REDUCE.

If people followed that as much as they followed recycle and reuse then we would see some real difference globally in terms of our impact on the environment.

"Reduce" is relative, compare the single occupant Hummer to the four people in a compact car.

On that line of thinking, if a power assist bicycle enables a rider to ride longer distances or into their golden years then I think that's just fine.

If one chooses to purchase a scooter rather than a vehicle, then that's also cool (but less so if they are in a Bike Lane)

If you pedal yourself everywhere in all seasons and move your groceries in a bike trailer, then you are at that esteemed far end of greendom that more people should aspire to.

Are you just trying to sell Lithium batteries? :)

SLA batteries are easily recyclable. Of course, this doesn't mean that the manufacture of batteries (in all forms) isn't bad for the environment. But then again, the manufacture of an e-bike causes much less pollution than the manufacture of an automobile.

"Reduce" is relative.

Everything can be argued to be relative, its a bad argument to make.

I rationalise purchasing as: you need it or you want it.
When I want and I dont need it, its a "reduce" and I dont purchase it.

Almost everything we purchase today we don't need, its been said before but you are missing my point so im saying it again.

The hummer comparison is a crappy one because you dont need a hummer or the midsize car, they are both obsolete. You CAN get anywhere you want to on the alternatives out there, its just up to the consumer to wake the fuck up.

Pat,

Reduce is absolutely a relative term because there are two points of reference - so your point is not valid.

Cars are obsolete eh? I'm not going to part with my car, because it allows me to do things my bikes can not. And with a family of 5 (cyclists), our car is both economical and valuable - and no it's not a Hummer.

I'm getting a mental image of your "ideal world" as an agricultural based society where everyone wears hemp wraps and corn husk sandals - please tell me I'm wrong.

My ideal Toronto looks a lot like Copenhagen. Or Groningen. Here's a video of Copenhagen - my dream Toronto looks like this.

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/04/city-of-cyclists.html

Sounds like you enjoy your dino juice seymore bikes. I'm interested to know not about your sweeping generalisations about myself, but what you can do with a car that a bike or e-bike cannot (besides vehicular manslaughter and climate change).

Im waiting.

OK Pat, here's a few:

  1. Moving heavy, delicate or large loads
  2. Trips of greater than 25km (generally)
  3. Trips of greater than 150km (always)
  4. Highway travel
  5. Daily transport of family to & from various activities

I Do:
- Volunteer my time and money for cycling advocacy
- Cycle in all seasons for work, shopping & most travel
- Use public transit

I Don't:
- Take Taxis
- Use an Auto Share program
- Randomly slaughter defenseless cyclists & pedestrians

Cars are there to serve our needs. Yes, they are often misused, but that doesn't mean we should do away with them.

  1. Moving heavy, delicate or large loads
    Bike trailer or numerous bike trailers, your family can help.
    As well with electric bikes and electric assist bikes the heavy weight of your cargo is negated (even on hills).
  2. Trips of greater than 25km (generally)
    Any regular cyclist can make this easily.
    An e-biker/electric assist biker can do this in a synch and without the hastle of sweat and grungeyness upon arrival.
  3. Trips of greater than 150km (always)
    E-bike with a extra battery in a knapsack or just bring a charger with you and make a half-hour pitstop for food and charge while you eat.
  4. Highway travel
    No reason bikes cant do this as the critical mass gardener ride showed us all it takes is courage.
  5. Daily transport of family to & from various activities
    Let your family ride along with you, if someone is to young to ride a bike there are a litany of child carrying devices.

Did I miss anything?
Thanks for not generalising me this time btw.

Edit: I missed "large loads" i.e. a Piano. This can be moved theoretically by a bike if you moved slowly enough to avoid overturning (thinking the same tech that they use to move small houses but in a minature version that is propelled by a towing e-bike) but I guess this is a job for a electric car... now to figure out who killed the electric car...

Bikes are the best invention of all time - but they can't do everything a car can. What you are suggesting is either impractical or illegal.

Bikes are not allowed on 400 series highways, and I am not going to ride 500km on my bike when I can drive it in an afternoon.

I am not going to transport art or loads of gravel or lumber on my bike trailer, and I'm not going to make my kids bike in the winter or in the rain; and yes the third wheel & chariot are already in use.

Remember, just because something can be done does not make it a good idea.

"Bikes are not allowed on 400 series highways,"

Because of cars.
There are highways just for bikes in Europe.

"and I am not going to ride 500km on my bike when I can drive it in an afternoon."

You're ignoring the E-bike or a electric scooter/motorcycle if you need some extra torque/speed.

"I am not going to transport art or loads of gravel or lumber on my bike trailer,"

Yea that happens everyday...
Once again who killed the electric car. Perfect for random instances such as the above.

Yea electric cars aren't mainstreamed yet but that is mostly to due to the establish oil/auto industry. "who killed the electric car" is a great doc.

Just tired of inhaling the fumes of the self-righteous.

OK I give up..

It has been said before, I'll say it again: Find a way to make your case without becoming a zealot.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the bicycle fire brigade, but I appreciate your enthusiasm.

Q_Q

Sorry for becoming a zealot. Oh noes, ill explain everything in a detached state next time.
I don't have many passions, cycling in one of them.

Sorry you feel that way.

PPP, I applaud you for being the brave type who can do all this, but please understand that everyone has their limits when it comes to safety judgment calls.

I'm an every-day commuter, and I'd love to do everything else on the bikes (and manage to do so on most occasions), but man, doing a large load from anywhere to anywhere in this city frightens the socks off me. Toronto is not a bike friendly city (obviously). I feel that each person needs to make their own judgment calls. ie, I have a 50 pound load limit before I'm no longer comfortable with the changes to the maneuverability of my bike, and outright refuse to use a trailer downtown (though admittedly, one of those uni-wheel trailers designed for off-road looks like it might work out nicely, and I'm saving up for one)

SR is doing a hell of a lot more than most families do and is clearly trying to keep the car use to a minimum (as far as what's written on here anyway). So, SR - awesome work, keep it up and if you see more opportunities to change a "car chore" into a "bike chore", please grab them, and encourage others to do the same!

There is somewhat of a happy medium out there between owning a car and the muchly unrealistic bike-for-everything view espoused by PPP.

PPP, have you personally ridden with an electric motorcycle for more than 150km? Lugging a heavy battery in a backpack that far is pretty unrealistic! Aren't ones with modifications to go faster than 32 kph illegal? I've ridden a pedal powered bike 200 km in a day, but that doesn't mean if I have to go somewhere 150k away I'll bike because of time constraints.

I am car-free, but find the times when I need to transport heavy, large or delicate loads to be infrequent. Fortunately in the city many things are close so these items often don't have to be transported far (hand truck, bike trailer, two people walking with breaks) but I'm not above using a vehicle if it makes the most sense (taxi, or delivery - usually for items you would need a pickup anyway rather than a regular car)

For longer distance trips, and trips within the city in inclement weather with kids (which I don't have) there is public transit - TTC, VIA rail, Greyhound... Unfortunately transit doesn't always go everywhere a family needs to go, and with the prices of VIA frankly most families of 4 would be crazy not to drive.

PPP you've made yourself sound like a crazy zealot by suggesting that bicycles ride on the Gardiner. SB point was obviously as a tool to get to distant places quickly. There is nowhere I can't get on a bike - there are always secondary highways and farm roads as alternatives to the 400 series highways. But for getting somewhere quickly - 100 kph - the bicycle won't be able to do that, so there a train or bus makes most sense (if one is going where you need to go)

So many can be car-free, but for those that can't, making judicious use of when to use a car like Seymore supports makes a lot of sense.

Yep, I certainly am trying to "sell"lithium batteries. I am also offering kits to upgrade and modify e bike and scooters. The purest argument are lost on me, sorry. I personally bike to and from the core from where I live at Finch and Bayview. Say what you want, I have come to realize that many riders do so to prove something to themselves and those around them, cars or peers/ friends. I recognize that economy and industrialized production are a destructive force, as is the litany of rebuttal and weak, poorly thought out arguments against alternative ACCESSIBLE, AVAILABLE forms of emission free transportation.

So, any one with an e scooter, and e bike, a regular bike that wants to be an ebike can feel free to email me in regards to upgrading and modifying their bikes to be faster, more powerful, less polluting and more versatile. If I get enough of a response then I will be happy to host a workshop on the fundamentals of electric bikes.

I would also like to organize a group purchase of lithium power systems, parts and supplies to help e bikers get up to speed...

Cheers, and stay off the sidewalks!

That may be lovely for the physically able but it does NOTHING for the rest of us.

I had to stop riding a bike because it became impossible.

So the choice is battery or car/gas trike--which would you prefer?

It would be lovely if there were safer batteries. As it stands it's the best option until there are.

And lest we forget--CARS have batteries, too--plus a whole lot more polluting power.

I haul everything on my e-trike. No more taxis and I can go to better grocery stores. Good for everyone, all the way around.

One day I'll have to post a pic of my e-trike on my block all tricked up with removable bundle buggy and cargo hauling basket on top. I can haul 100lbs worth of groceries including 50lbs of dog food.

And yes, I am in your bike lane. Sometimes cyclists have to wait a bit to pass but when they do--they are lucky because the trike is big and my hugeness grants them a measure of safety from cars who are afraid to try to crash into me or try to be intimidating and swerve because I have half the lane [I need 4 feet minimum].

It needs some repairs but after that I'm going to caulk the battery and motor seams then see if can ride it in the rain, too. Apparently it's done in Europe.

After that I might get truly daring and try winter.

Oh wow, cool.

When I do a battery replacement [in two years or so] we will have to speak. I have a Belize trike.

I'd love the workshop and we have quite a few e-scooters and such in Parkdale.

I believe there is a serious lack of mechanics/technicians in the increasing field of e-vehicles.

I know a number of semi-disabled people who'd like to have cargo e-trikes but the cost is prohibitive.

There's hardly anyone I can find who knows much about this trike:-(

I'd like to do my own mechanics, at least as much as I can. The fellow I bought it from doesn't know a lot and Belize e-trikes seem to be rare in Toronto. He's going to fix it this week if he can [I cracked the axel housing...if that's what it's called].

I liked the trike from Blue Avenue but I also knew, if I was strapped for cash to buy parts I could never pedal it until I saved up. Also, I was hoping to use the underground parking and it wouldn't do the incline. Turns out this one won't, either sigh

I don't need to go faster really. I'd like to go farther some day, though.

Can you PLEASE email me?

First off--using an e-bike isn't that simple. Batteries add weight. So the more batteries=less distance per battery. And where oh where is one going to plug in somewhere in Armpit Ontario on a back highway?

They don't go far. Even if it is supposedly 30 miles, if that 30 miles is uphill with camping gear--rest assured it won't BE 30 miles.

There are some jobs that are simply impossible to use them for. If you want to haul a piano, be my guest but it won't be me and it won't be on my e-trike.

In fact--without gas vehicles you wouldn't be buying any food at your local grocery stores.

Now, it's possible in the future this might be better. Right now--it isn't.

You seem to have this idea that everyone on a cycle is physically ready to enter the Triathlon. With over 10% of the population suffering asthma, another 10% or so with arthritis etc etc your ideas, although altruistic are not reasonable.

I'd like to see more e-action and the cost become less prohibitive [it's already starting] because although your ideas are Utopian they DO have merit. We could depend a great deal less on gas guzzlers than we do now if the technology was being encouraged.

If it was--we'd have Zenn taxis in Toronto and that might make it a much nicer place to live.

An e-bike can't DO 500k in a reasonable time frame. Period. The technology is not there.

Some day it might be--right now, it isn't.

Motorcycles are not the solution if one is taking children--too dangerous. I've been in two motorcycle crashes, neither my fault. Believe me, it's not for children.

I realize our reliance on cars is a huge problem. I realize until non-car solutions have more power than the auto industry we are not going to have the kind of power it takes to 'make it better'.

To get past that hurdle we need to get e-vehicles pushed forward because cycling simply isn't practical for many people.

Faster, farther, up the hill... Any of the bike you were speaking of would have no problem climbing up the underground parking area. Honestly. Faster is decided on by the driver. My truck can do 200Km/hr ++, but I do not drive like that. I drive my truck, and to a larger extent my bike with the flow of traffic.

If the e-bikes and scooters cannot keep up with traffic (even bicycle traffic) or climb a hill....The are less useful and marginalized as a result.

I have put together kits that owners of e-bikes and scooters can install on their own, or with some assistance. These kits are simple and inexpensive, and will allow for steeper climbs, higher top speeds, as well as longer range.

The most basic mod involves the addition of a single battery to increase the V that the bike runs on. This can be done in as little as 30 min, with a cost of about $35-$50. To take full advantage of the higher Voltage, a high Voltage controller is installed. A new lithium battery completes the upgrade, allowing for a much lighter, longer more powerful ride. No parts need to be replaced (except the lead acid anchor), and no changes are made to the bike itself. In some cases, bikes can also be fitted with a second motor (on the front) this requires another controller, and allows the bike to climb steep hills, with loads at speed.

The total cost for a dual motor, dual controller, dual lithium system is somewhere around $1000. After the mod, your battery and system will last 5rs+, with four times the power and twice the range, with an overall reduction in weight.

I am now taking orders and am organizing the first workshop for the end of June. Anyone interested please email me directly @reasonandsolution@gmail.com

Cheers!

Hey everyone I recently been introduced to the e-bike, I just bought an e-bike last week and its called the Rome (in blue)..model is close to a vespa design..anyways...I live at east york and go back and forth to work (down by yonge and front) and so far so good..but i would like to do more with it and I would like to know where i can buy litium batteries. I wanna go far and a little bit faster, no more than 40km/h,. My goal is to have an e-bike that can go to mississauga and back...dont plan on taking long trips like Montreal if you get my drift, but i would like to use it most of the time around the GTA. Where can I go? who can help me and is it possible?

details
Rome Scooter
48v /20ah battery
32km/h
500 watts brushless
20 on incline
hyradralic disc brakes front and rear
goes 60-65 km

I have no knowledge of these things but willing to learn.

E-bikes are legally limited to 32 km/h.

I have an eScooter and I drive it to work daily now, I charge its Lead-Acid Batteries nightly and confess to using electricity from the grid to do that.

Total nightly cost: 7.4 cents in hydro. Less than my PC has used to surf the web today looking for eScooter debates in Toronto. Oh, did I mention that I haven't driven my car since May 8th? Zero air pollution there, zero gasoline usage. Still paying that City of Toronto street parking permit fee and special tax on it, however.

All that coal-fired/nuclear grid hydro going into my eScooter (Only $24 of electricity annually, because I am not a winter or rainy day rider) is wayyyy less polluting than the stinky diesel truck that comes to deliver refills to my local Esso station, then you can add in my own car's exhaust --- and exactly what did happen to the Mazda's old tires when I got new ones? Overall I would say I am still on the Green side of the polluter seesaw.

32km/h is the federal legal limit for eScooters and that makes sense, as others have pointed out it is a speed within reach of an averagely fit bicyclist. It's the zoomers who worry me.

Anyone who makes eBike mods to go faster is a road risk to us all. As the Giobikes eScooter website points out, these things don't have disc brakes, as required on the 50 km/h scooters.

I don't have a conventional bike in Toronto because I took a streetcar spill a few years back and nearly got run over. I was younger and stupider and definitely doing more than 32 km/h. Permanently scared me off them. Can a current pedalist tell me, are better brakes available for bicycles now, for all those (not my insulting stereotype term but accurate) "Lycra bikers" who zip by at 40 or faster?

The sad and dangerous truth is that riding a bicycle (as Tanya Q puts it, like a "dick") in the city can be a death sentence or worse. And it doesn't even have to be the dick who makes the mistake that leads to death or vegetableness, it could be a drunk in a car or a dog dashing into the street. But it's the bicyclist who's in danger.

My mandatory helmet, horn, signal lights and motor that automatically cuts out when going faster than about 35, as I discovered going downhill, make me feel safer than the pedalists I see behaving badly.

I am sure there are dicks on eScooters too, I just haven't seen any yet.

But the best and simplest mod is the hardest one: Ride Safely.

All the apathetic peeps vaunting the combustion engine please watch:

"WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?"

The first automobiles were infact electric, and that continued for decades until... (look up Oil Industry).
All that time lost with gas-powered-cars was time lost honing our electric alternatives.

Seriously watch Who Killed The Electric Car if you haven't already.

"In fact--without gas vehicles you wouldn't be buying any food at your local grocery stores.

With over 10% of the population suffering asthma, another 10% or so with arthritis etc etc your ideas, although altruistic are not reasonable."-trikester

These stupid comments made me post the above.
You say "local" grocery store, well heres another local for you
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_food_movement)
[You don't need to transport food that was grown in your own city.]

I have asthma (yay big oil[again my electric car doc]) and cycling is better for your joints than running/jogging.

"I realize our reliance on cars is a huge problem. I realize until non-car solutions have more power than the auto industry we are not going to have the kind of power it takes to 'make it better'."-trikester

Gas powered vehicles will not simply disappear, the people need to demand it... and in large numbers.
Oh not to mention replacing our nuclear/coal powerplants with geothermal/solar/wind/manyothers should be on that "to revolt for" list.

Insightful commentary PPP, but we are not yet prepared to do away with the internal combustion engine just yet. Maybe in 10-20 years, but the technology that is needed to make the fundamental switch from existing forms of energy still eludes us.

Solar power and wind power only serve as supplements to our power grids; and solar power is actually more expensive unless you are in a very remote area.

Although battery power has made advancements in the past few years, we still need to make improvements to the current technology before it replaces gas entirely.

Nuclear power is still a relatively new technology, and we can't afford to do without it right now.

Do away with coal? What about 'clean coal' technology? It is the most economical source of energy available and it's getting re-born in other parts of the world. What do we ask India and China to do about working within their economic limits?

The fact is that right now, technological factors affect our dependence on current energy sources more than personal choice, although you could argue we are not doing enough, we need to understand that we’re not there yet.

"but the technology that is needed to make the fundamental switch from existing forms of energy still eludes us."

Wrong. In the 80's we made a 100km range vehicle that was affordable for the mainstream market called the EV1. That was almost 30 years ago.

Solar power and wind power only serve as supplements to our power grids; and solar power is actually more expensive unless you are in a very remote area.

Those are not the only alternative forms of energy, geothermal has huge possibilities for energy provision and there is a cornicopia of other alternatives out theyre (tidal energy, wave energy, algae fuel etc). We have no reason to rely on coal/nuclear, they are prevalent because of established industries and lobbyists for them in or government.

"Clean Coal" is a oxymoron and only a moron follows it. There is no such thing as 100% clean coal, a filter wont stop all of the co2 and what do you do with the old co2 filters?

Nuclear power is expensive and takes huge amounts of time to complete / fix. Look at the wonderful chalk river facility for a example of this. These facilities during construction go over budget almost everytime (in the billions). It just doesnt make sense when the alternatives are cheaper and cleaner. Oh yea we still have NO SOLUTION to nuclear waste. Burrying the stuff IS NOT A SOLUTION.

"The fact is that right now, technological factors affect our dependence on current energy sources more than personal choice, although you could argue we are not doing enough, we need to understand that we’re not there yet."
One word. Establishment.
There is no lobby for wind power, no lobby for solar, no lobby for geothermal, no lobby for battery powered transit. There are numerous lobbies for Oil, Coal, Nuclear not to mention the billions of dollars in investment from other companies and governments into big Oil (the tar sands is one glaring example).

Yea we don't have a super amazing breakthrough for any of the technologies I speak of but that hasnt stopped european nations from largely minimizing they're use of fossil fuels. We have the technology to do so now, no one said change was ever easy.

We can reduce yes, but we are not ready to replace our existing energy forms entirely - that's really what I'm driving at here.

A car that can drive 100km if fine, but that's not going to support the freight and transportation sector.

If there were viable energy alternatives, then you can be sure there would be lobby groups in place.

I want to see our dependence on fossil fuels eliminated as much as anyone, but like you said, the 'super amazing breakthrough' is yet to come.

Ugh. Sorry for trying to have a debate with you seymore. I remember the last time I tried the same thing happened. I said one thing you said the other.

Im just gonna agree that we dont want oil. And disagree with your faith in the 'freemarket' ideology which has failed numerous times.

"If there were viable energy alternatives, then you can be sure there would be lobby groups in place."
Try reading "Shock Doctrine" opens your eyes on the freemarket and how corrupt it is.

"We can reduce yes, but we are not ready to replace our existing energy forms entirely - that's really what I'm driving at here."

Only because of the established Oil/Auto/Coal/Nuclear sectors. (again the freemarket is bollocks).

OK glad we agree on that.

I just can't believe that there is some viable form of new energy that is being kept out of the public eye by 'Big Oil' producers.

They own patents for some really amazing battery designs but haven't used them as far as I know.

Again watch the doc I keep refrencing "who killed the electric car". Its a easy torrent download and im pretty sure its on youtube if you aren't torrent-literate.

There is some pretty damning evidence that the auto/oil sector has been holding back electric technology/the electric market.

I welcome your revised argument when you are informed.

OK checked out the doc. very informative. Corporate bullying is alive and well in the petroleum industry.

Although battery power could reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, I remain convinced that it's not going to eliminate it completely anytime soon.

Just bought a lithium powered Striker 100 electric bike from Vince at Blue Avenue in the beaches. This bike goes farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr out. I picked up my ebike from the beaches store at Queen and Woodbine and rode it all the way to Burlington in one charge and I still had plenty of juice left to go. It took me forever to get there (almost 4 hours but it was worth the ride). It started to get dark after and I wondered if I was ever going to make it there in one piece. It was the best ride ever and I can't brag enough how great this ebike performed. The charge only took about 5 hours to top up the lithium batteries. Just in case anyone else buys lithium batteries, anytime the battery gauge starts to tic downwards it's a sign to charge it up right away. It's not like my old Mountaineer where I still had 20 - 30 kms left when the pin on the gauge starts to move. With lithium the pin goes down fast, real fast that you only have the most 8 - 10 kms left on your batteries.

This week i will take it to eastport drive all the way to Niagara falls.
All I can say is what a bike. I can't believe how the Striker 100 performed. No more go train to Toronto or bus to Niagara.

Way to go Blue Avenue ebikes!!!!

Well, I will say that the Rome is one of the easiest bike for me to completely mod. The full mod goes as follows. 72V 40A controllerx2 @$150ea. Installation is easy an fast. The old controller is not moved or uninstalled, The secondary controller simply connect to the output from the battery, and are then fed into the motor(s). The front disc brake wheel on the Rome is replaced with the same "500w"motor that is on the rear $250. hence the two 72V 40A PWM's. The last and most expensive upgrade is to remove the lead acid battery, and replace it with 4x 36V 10Ah Lithium packs $300ea. The packs are installed directly where the lead acid battery fits.

Once these mods have been made the Rome will be able to top out at around 60km/hr up 15% grade.
Range will be over 80 km. and can be increased easily.
Total cost of the mod is about $2000 installed.

I have a demo Rome that has the mod available for viewing, not for sale.

Other mods include, GPS, Micro ITX computer with touch screen display, and Audio system. E-mail me for details.

In addition a trailer system that incorporates additional Lithium packs will enable you to carry a payload, while increasing range. Anyone seriously interested please contact me. reasonandsolution@gmail.com

Ya and smoking weed is also illegal. Whatever.

Look you fool, if you decide to make a high speed e-scooter, keep it out of my way.

And remember, you automatically qualify for some seriously huge fines and could possibly loose your license if you are caught on a public road.

If you make your own "motorized vehicle" that is totally uninsured then you will also be on the hook for any and all settlements resulting from an accident involving you; so don't get too comfortable with your house or possessions.

Whatever? I don't think so.

People modifying their ebikes to make them go faster jeapardize the whole pilot program for e-bikes. If you want to go faster and further I suggest you do it right and buy a motorcyle. If 32 isn't fast enough, 40 won't be either. One fine for modifying an e-bike to go faster is $5000.00 for improper insurance...and others can follow. I personally have no compassion for those who get caught.

The results of the recent online Toronto Cyclists' Union survey about eScooters are available here.

The results reaffirm the TCU's current position: "In short...the survey results show that the bike union's position is indeed a reflection of the opinion of the majority of respondents."

It's clear from the comments that some people confused the e-bike with gas powered scooters:

"sound like a lawn mower"

"speed, noise"

and others don't really know much about the e-bikes and so, could have been answering on the basis of false assumptions:

"How fast does it go? I think that would influence my opinion."

"depending on the speed"

And that's just from scrolling through the first bunch of comments quickly.

TCU membership at this time is made up of the most hard core, dedicated cyclists. There are many who are very thoughtful and consider the bigger picture when addressing issues. And then there are those who can only view each issue in terms of how it affects them personally and whose discussions are laced with anger. There is a place for attention grabbing "yahoos" :) within any advocacy movement, but not at the helm of the most public face of that movement. By taking on e-bikes, the TCU risks alienating the more moderate members and potential members and becoming something more extreme than it was intended to be. Without going against the current majority, assuming that a less biased survey preceded by a factsheet on e-bikes would return similar results, there is still the option of letting this issue rest and focusing on other areas.

I, for one, am very conflicted about renewing my membership. I can't blame the TCU for taking a position that appears to reflect the memberships' views, but I also find it difficult to support an organization whose views diverge so drastically from my own.

Annie (who has never been on an e-bike and doesn't know anyone who has)

The TCU does so much for cycling in Toronto that it would be a shame to withdraw your support based on one issue. The future of E-bikes will be decided in due course by the appropriate authorities, and that does not include the TCU.

I feel that a scooter style e-bike that can go 32km/h should not be allowed on a bike path. There are others that feel it opens up the bike lanes to other forms of motorized vehicles, and that compounds the frustration of a under developed bike lane network.

The issues have merit, and they are worthy of debate.

Who is the fool. First, lets deal with your nasty attitude. It is obvious to me that you represent law enforcement. In this I may say that you are indeed the fool.
As a result of riding my regular bike, unpowered, I have already lost my licence. Fines imposed on me such as no light, no bell, improper turn, failure to stop speeding ect The fines were so hefty and so common that I refused to pay them, resulting in the suspension of my licence.
As a driver (I have been driving since 1980) I have never been pulled over or charged with ANY driving infraction. As a cyclist I have been targeted, marginalized, theatened and physically attacked, by police. Ya, and if were only me then perhaps you might say that I am obviously wrong. That fact is, and ask any cyclist in the city, there is an apparent hatred for all things bike comming directly from the Toronto police. (the real fools, check out what happened on Dundas st when a Foolish officer likely injured him/herself after pulling an ILLEGAL u-turn and slamming into a steetcar. not more than a few days after FOOLISH bike cops chased an SUV into a bus shelter injuring even more innocent people..... As far as I have heard, there have been NO accident of any sort involving e-bikes.

My SUV can easily go over 200km/hr. do I drive it as such, no I do not.

Underpowered e-bikes are a joke. the government has made the restrictions to keep these devices off the street. The e-bikes I mod are capable of extended range, and are able to take loads up any hill. Did i SAY RACING E-SCOOTER??? NO ALL WE WANT IS TO BE ABLE TO USE THESE BIKES TO GET OUR GROCERIES HOME UP THE HILL!!!!!!!

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[Editors: partly disemvoweled for being offensive and threatening violence.]

AnnieD

I admire your open minded attitude and it is very refreshing on this forum. It is hard to believe that someone in Georgetown who wishes to ride his e-bike 2 kilometers to the store is being judged by anyone in Toronto. The attitude is known across Canada as being "torontocentric"
In BC the cycling union never opposed e-bikes of any kind. E-Bikes cannot go in mainstream traffic due to their "bicycle speed" and if the TCU with all their opposition is successful, 5000 e-bikes will end up in landfills across Ontario. Excellent Work! Cyclists are certainly in a favourable position to be able to make their bikes lighter and lighter enabling them to have much greater speeds due to advancement in gears. Travelling along at 40 and 50 km per hour at will without a licence is not even in question.
In BC the ICBC (equivalent to our MTO and Insurance Company combined) tested the bikes and returned them to importers were quick to include them on their website. In Ontario, a pilot program was created, with zero data collected over the three years to justify their "opinions".
In the US, e-bikes are 750 watts. In Canada 500 watts is the limit. 500 watts merely duplicates the energy output of a fit cyclist. Will Ontario with the help of the TCU be remembered as the ones "who tried to kill the electric bike" stay tuned!

Electro rocket,

Those "empty legal threats" in the post you are referring to are more factual than you may think.

$5000 is the minimum fine for operating a motor vehicle without insurance. If you modify the motor on an e-bike to exceed its legal output it probably no longer qualifies as an e-bike.

Hope that helps,

Seymore

PS - Just to be clear, are you issuing a threat of violence to 'The Pedaller'?

Hi Annie,

Like you, I am also conflicted. I thought the questions were also badly chosen and designed (intentionally or not) to give the anti e-bike outcome.

I am really disappointed at the bickering this issue has created in the community and on here. I think it discredits us as a group, divides those who should be working together (and I mean puts human-powered cyclists against each other - forget the e-bikes). It reminds me of COINTELPRO back in the states, actually (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cointelpro#Methods). Not that I think the controversy is being generated artificially from outside. I just think that while we sit here arguing amongst ourselves, we discredit ourselves as a group. So do I feel the TCU is representing me with this? Absolutely not. It's done a lot of good things without a doubt but this territoriality and politicization of this issue while ignoring things like actually getting strict parking enforcement in bike lanes (please correct me if I missed that campaign) is not the way I want to see my resources used. Frankly it smacks of fundamentalism which in all cases (whether religious, ideological, or political) alienates more than it changes. So while I joined the TCU feeling 100% good about the approach, the "Big Tent" is shrinking and I now have to do a bit of thinking.

(I, like Annie, have never been on an e-bike and have not met anyone who has)

To my mind the key stat is the 64% that feel that eScooters, as opposed to pedal assist eBikes, should be prohibited from using on street bike lanes. That means 354 out of the 555 feel that way; if under 40 people change their mind then we have a membership split right down the center.

As for the rest, who cares if eighty odd percent feel that the vehicle is not a bicycle? I do, and yet have no compunction with 400W scooters, ebikes or funky assed mules in the bike lane. The real issue is not the attitudes themselves, but how they infringe upon amenities.

I wonder that TCU members aren't guilty of the reactionary tendencies we so often accuse motorists and businesses of harboring. We're not exceptional: we stand to learn a few things ourselves. Here's hoping that as Ontario's eBike trial continues we'll benefit by a better idea of what exactly eCoexistence entails and, hopefully, a more enlightened perspective.

"500 watts merely duplicates the energy output of a fit cyclist. "

Uh, no.

500 watts is up in elite cyclist territory, not just fit.

The average cyclist on the street is pushing an average 100-200 watts.

I have no opinion on ebikes, just hate seeing inaccruate numbers thrown out.

Toddtyrtle...I appreciate your comments as well. I am for any alternative to automobiles for short commutes. Too many people take their car for granted and hop in it to go a few blocks to get a loaf of bread and juice.
I certainly would rather use my time in joining biking groups and advocate for more paths, rather than to be constantly on the defense with this choice. I certainly understand congestion issues but as I have previously commented on, that is more of a downtown Toronto issue and not a provincial problem. If Ontarians are to be expected to chip in for more bike lanes, they would like to see the ones they have already spent money on being used.
My counterparts across Canada never had the same objections from cycling groups or their ministries. It seems to be isolated here in Ontario for some reason. I ride along Sheppard and feel like I have the whole bike lane to myself for my 13 kilometre stretch so I do not witness the same congestion issues as another rider. The TCU made their feelings quite clear at the meeting and I for one was not impressed with their attitude at all.

In my workplace, I see kids every day who will never be able to ride a bike, so I am particularly sensitive to the characterization of e-cyclists that we've seen on this board: polluting, fat, lazy, destined for an early death... Physical disabilities aren't always visible - don't assume that because someone looks "normal" that they don't have limitations that preclude the use of a bike. So many of the arguments against e-bikes seem to come from a judgemental place that puts those who pedal above those who do not, and ultimately that's what's turning me off.

What are the arguments against?

Heavy: SUV's are heavy. Garbage trucks are heavy. Thanks to our disconnected bike network, I share the road with both on a daily basis. Getting this worked up about the weight of an e-bike in a bike lane strikes me as seriously overwrought.

Fast: Returning from work yesterday on the Don Valley path, I was passed by several cyclists only one of whom bothered to say "on your left" before passing me. To ban someone from using bike lanes or paths because of the relative size of the splat I will make when I hit the ground if they hit me doesn't address the problem - focus on educating all users of bike lanes and paths on safe passing practices.

Bike lanes will be too crowded: Isn't our goal to increase the number of people using bike lanes? Further crowding of lanes is inevitable if we're successful. On the plus side, we won't hear politicians and journalists complain about the waste of money spent on half empty bike lanes. E-bikes have great potential in the inner suburbs where people have longer commutes and bike lanes are under-utilized.

"We" did all the work advocating for bike lanes and now "they" want to use them: Every person who decides to leave their car to ride a bike will also benefit from the advocacy of those who came before them. Claiming those efforts only for the benefit of cyclists who pedal is not only part of the elitist attitude that I mentionned above, it also ignores the fact that some of today's e-cyclists may well have been yesterday's cycling advocates. Where will you and I be in 30 years? Today's "we" may be tomorrow's "they".

Now consider the benefits of allowing e-bikes in bike lanes:

They get people out of cars who would never ride a bike.

It could lead to a huge increase in the number of people using bike lanes: Yes, that's a good thing! What better argument for putting in more bike lanes, or even entire bike roads!

They increase the number of people advocating for more bike lanes.

They have a maximum speed of 32km/hr: It's a maximum speed, not a cruising speed. Would you send your grandmother puttering across the Bloor viaduct at 22km/hr in the car lane? Heck, I don't even like crossing it in the bikelane. Sure, there are streets like College and Harbord where the slower speed of the e-bike in the car lane doesn't pose a danger, but there are plenty of others where the very presence of a bikelane will endanger e-bike riders if they can't use them because drivers will not expect them in their own lane.

Now that the can of worms has been re-opened yet again, we'll probably get to hear the anger-laced arguments and insults flung back and forth from both sides. The leading questions and complete absence of background information within the TCU survey puts it too close to the hand wringing hype and too far from reasoned debate for my tastes. So while this is only one issue, I worry that the attitude will permeate other debates as well.

Annie

I was merely quoting on how the Department of Transportation came up with the 32 km per hour maximum as well as the maximum watts allowed. I will try and dig up that information and post it though. The actual number they quoted was 480 watts. US was given 750 watts. We settled on 500 watts without dispute. While cyclists can ride slower and faster than 32 km per hour they deemed it be a safe maximum. I agree with your 100 -200 watts for the average rider, but I assure you I was not throwing out numbers, nor can I question why the DOT came up with those numbers. But once again...always on the defense to people that HATE e-bikes and their owners...LOL

Geezus, you should be writing for ibiketo! Absolutely well said Annie.

I would vote for her as well....and I would join and bring as many other voices as I could with me.

Very well said, my thoughts exactly. Luke's right, you should be writing for ibiketo.

The other thing regarding e-bikes that occurs to me. It would be a sad thing for me that if I were to get injured on my bike and be unable to ride anything but an e-bike as a result of my injuries, insult would be added to injury by my being thrown further into the traffic that injured me in the first place. All for an argument that seems to boil down to fundamentalism. In other words: "If you are physically incapable of powering your self on the streets in Toronto, get in a car where you belong!" Seems an argument made by young, fit, dogmatists who could use a bit of empathy to me.

As a community, are we saying that we welcome only individuals with two working legs, no heart problems preventing aerobic exercise and only of an age under say 65 and that everyone else must drive if they are not well-served by transit? Sorry, that's not my community.

Nice paragraph AnnieD.

Changed my opinion about e-bikes a bit and that is saying something.

Perhaps the best I've seen in support of e-bikes.

Annie...we sure could have used you at yesterdays meeting...my passions sometimes come out to harsh in support of e-bikes. We have till July 9th to send submissions into the Ministry and I know it would certainly go along way to help our cause if you could submit something as a TCU member along with anyone else who perhaps feels a change of heart. The firm stance from the union certainly did not help our cause yesterday.
There are so many motorists sitting on the fence waiting for the outcome before even considering augmenting their driving with an e-bike. I appeal to all cyclists to read Annies post as well as others that followed and at least consider helping us out before it is too late. You write a very nice letter.

The email address below is to the Ministry

Subject line E-Bikes

Lea-Ann.Strileski@ontario.ca

BJH

Below is the actual quote...I apologise that i did not include this with my initial post. The url is below as well...any debates or disputes now please take up with Government of Canada.

http://canadagazette.gc.ca/archives/p2/2001/2001-04-11/htm...

"The continuous power output rating that was proposed remains unchanged at 500 watts, a level that well-trained cyclists can maintain for a short period of time. Since the underlying principle of this amendment is to specify technical parameters that are comparable to the performance of an average cyclist, a limit of 500 watts was considered safe and acceptable. Moreover, this power threshold is sufficient for the propulsion of tricycles and tandem bicycles. Raising the limit to 750 watts, as suggested by two of the commenters, would not be representative of a cyclist's actual performance and could prove dangerous. Most power-assisted bicycles currently available on the market have a power output rating of less than 500 watts."

I appreciate being able to do something more constructive than simply whining on the forum. I hope the people at the Ministry, and all the city councillors to whom I've written over the years, are as positive about my long winded diatribes as you guys have been!

Annie

(cue Littlest Hobo music "Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down...")

:)

Annie

Throughout history, whenever a marginalized group found a way of turning their marginalization into an asset there's always been those who would steal that benefit without actually being members of the marginalized group.

Today's marginalized group are the cyclists. They've been marginalized into bike lanes and park trails -- away from the mainstream of traffic. That's an advantage because it's away from motor traffic. The e-bikers want to introduce their brand of motor-traffic into these spaces and thereby steal this benefit away from the cyclists.

But No! They have good intentions. The trails should become "sustainable transportation corridors" not merely "active transportation corridors." They only want to make a buck selling the most popular vehicles, the ones that don't have to be pedaled (note the lack of "membership" to the marginalized group.) They want to be allies, but stab us in the back first.

Being born into a group that has traditionally been marginalized I can easily recognise what's going on. And not being a Christian, I can't (and I won't) turn the other cheek. Too many parents have complained to me about the inappropriateness of motorized bikes (yes, with electric motors) taking over the park trails and bike lanes that their kids are riding on.

Many care about reducing car use at all costs. I don't. Reducing car use is a good goal, but not at the cost of not having a future generation of cyclists because the parents were too scared to let their kids ride. We've seen the results parents are too scared to let their kids ride; a society like that is a very scary future!

Yes, the enemy is the car. Speeds that are too fast, drivers who won't share the road and who purposely run down kids on bikes.

But letting motorists use bike infrastructure just because they don't burn gas? No, I'm not biting that bait. I also don't want alcohol fueled vehicles, electric vehicles, or other power/motor vehicles there.

Most of roads are shared, and I'll share them with e-bikes, cars, trucks, motorcycles, moped, limited speed motorcycles, horses, horse and carriage, farm implements, emergency vehicles, and road service vehicles. But bike lanes are for people-powered machines, because my future are the kids who ride bikes today.

And don't give us the hogwash about disabilities. Blind people ride bikes as stokers on tandems. Others who have balance or speed issues ride tricycles. And the truly powered-assisted bikes are not what anybody is railing against. Our Multi-use trails will always be open to all those who use mobility devices; however the point I will make is that electric motorcycles should NOT be confused with mobility devices.

Just to update/clarify surrounding my feelings on the TCU:

The TCU does not represent me when it comes to the position on e-bikes. I disagree with how the whole issue is being handled. I think the fear mongering being used by anti e-bike folks within the group is playing out very much like the corresponding fear mongering on the part of various BIAs and politicians in opposition to bike infrastructure. In both situations, the groups/politicians claim to be acting on the will of their constituents. In both cases I think the groups could present a more balanced, researched, and open-minded view of the issues to their constituents.

That said, it has done tremendous work and good for the cyclists of Toronto and to withdraw my support in light of that one issue would be wrong and overall counterproductive. Just as my vote for Barack Obama does not guarantee me he will track exactly as I hope on all issues (and lately he's made a couple pretty disappointing missteps in that regard), overall I feel he is doing a great deal of good and we would be worse-off without his support. In both cases, failing to support them would be a big mistake and do far more harm than good. I hope any others similarly conflicted will also continue to support the group.

It seems like this post is high on fear mongering and pretty much free of data or statistics. As a parent, I tend to make my own judgments and frankly I see more danger presented by a slow implementation of bike lanes than sharing bike infrastructure with e-bikes. In a culture that has a market for knee pads to protect crawling babies and "shopping cart seat liners" to protect kids from germs on a shopping cart, I am not always convinced by what parents fear.

I realize you are afraid of the possible outcome and I respect that but without actual data I don't feel I can make an informed judgment that there's a problem. In the meantime, arguments like this come off more like those of a business owner or politician than someone making an informed argument. Doubt what I'm saying? See what happens when you change a few of the words in your post:

Throughout history, whenever a marginalized group found a way of turning their marginalization into an asset there's always been those who would steal that benefit without actually being members of the marginalized group.

Today's marginalized group are the small business owners. They've been marginalized by big box stores away from the mainstream of traffic. The cyclists want to introduce their brand of motor-traffic into these spaces and thereby steal the remaining benefit away from the small business owners.

But No! They have good intentions. The bike lanes should become "active transportation corridors." They don't want us to make a buck selling our goods and services. They want to be allies, but stab us in the back first.

Being born into a group that has traditionally been marginalized I can easily recognise what's going on. And not being a Christian, I can't (and I won't) turn the other cheek. Too many drivers have complained to me about the inappropriateness of bicycles taking over the streets that our cars are driving on.

Many care about reducing car use at all costs. I don't. Reducing car use is a good goal, but not at the cost of my business. We've seen the impact of such developments on St. Clair West. A city like that is a very scary future!

[...]

And don't give us the hogwash about safety. Cyclists ride bikes all the time on streets with no bike lanes. Others take transit or walk. And bikes are not what anybody is railing against. We love bikes. Our streets will always be open to all those who use cycle; however the point I will make is that parking or traffic flow should not be impacted by the installation of bike lanes.

I am trying to keep an open mind about this and am willing to hear folks out on this issue but just as I say to businesspersons afraid of bike lane impacts on their neighbourhood there has to be actual data not visceral rants based on pure speculation.

As for the marginalization: As a member of the same marginalized group you are, I am acutely aware of your concerns. However, that also gives me a bit of empathy to other marginalized groups as well including e-bikes.

That said, my horse is dead. I have nothing new to add and think it best not to continue to fan the fire. I will continue to keep an open mind regarding the anti-ebike front as data is presented but as yet I haven't seen anything convincing.

Yes, many people with disabilities can still ride bikes. In fact, there are some pretty ingenious adaptive bikes out there:

http://www.freedomtrikenbike.ca/amtrikes.html
http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/418977

But there are plenty of people who are physically incapable of riding a bicycle or tricycle but who do not need a "classic" mobility device and for whom an e-bike provides a choice. Cycling is great for people with rheumatoid arthritis, but may not be possible during a flare-up and should never be overdone because it can worsen the pain. Someone who is already biking in order to manage their RA might appreciate using an e-bike when biking isn't possible. Cycling, as with any aerobic exercise, is also excellent for people with cystic fibrosis but becomes impossible as the disease progresses: "As her symptoms were mainly respiratory, Annick became breathless quickly, frequent stays in hospital interrupted her schooling, and the small pleasures of daily life, such as riding a bicycle, were forbidden."

These are probably not the best examples of conditions that limit people's ability to ride bicycles - they just happen to be two areas that I've worked in. There are far more people with chronic medical conditions or physical limitations who cannot or should not bike than most people realize. Which, come to think of it, makes them part of a marginalized group too.

Annie

I would also like to include the "fun" aspect of riding one that encourages people to surrender their car for certain commutes. I understand that riding a conventional bike is fun as well, but there really are a lot of people, with or without a disability that will not consider a bicycle as a viable form of transportation.
Many people who purchase these scooter style e-bikes are the 50 plus crowd who get a kick out of going to the store or to work on their e-bike. I know of an 68 year old (very fit) for his age who loves to ride his bike 3 km along the bike path from his retirement community along the lake into Bowmanville for all his errands.
He uses his car on the bad days and his e-bike on the good days and loves it. I may agree that e-bikes and pedestrians do not mix, but e-bikes and bicycles are a natural, as long as both show respect, courtesy and common sense when riding together and passing.
I coast along at an average of 19 km per hour in my neighbourhood on my way to the store. It is not necessary to go "flat out" at 32 km per hour. My "need for speed" was exhausted in my youth. A bicycle is a bicycle, an ebike is an e-bike. There are two styles...open frame and scooter style. I have no problem agreeing with the cycling community that a scooter style e-bike should not be "called" a bicycle no more than a car should be called a truck. They are classed under the "power assisted bicycle" which is where I believe they belong due to their compliant speed and motor. 500 watts is equivalent to 3/4 of a horsepower. Growing up we rode mopeds without a licence that were 3 and 4 horse power. Years later a G licence was necessary and then more recently a M1 Licence was needed. I have no problem with any of those changes. With much more traffic on the roads from when I was growing up it was the necessary move.

I can only imagine it was set up like a kangaroo court....they had their mind made up before you walked in and were not listening to what was said. What data did they gather over the 3 years? That was the purpose of the pilot wasn't it? Gather some information, statistics, facts? Were their any serious accidents over this time? How many e-bikes are on the road? Did anyone at the ministry offer these statistics, or were they just looking at pictures of the bike? Did anyone bring up the success and safety rate from other countries or at least Quebec or British Columbia? I am not a TCU member nor do I ever plan to be. I do not own an e-bike, but would certainly appreciate the option of changing my mind when the time comes. I have been waiting to see which way the government goes on this one before I bought one. Ontario...The Have Not Province Strikes Again!

MTO staff were quite forward is saying that they have NO data about e-bikes, and not much about cycling in general. Staff asked the "industry" (such as it is) to share whatever sales, and other data, they have, and promised to hold it in confidence. I can only hope that they (staff and the industry) follow up on this, but I would like the data to become public, at least in an aggregate form.

The MTO staff seemed quite interested in hearing from everyone that they brought to the table. They gave everyone an a chance to speak and to share what they had to say with everyone else. For this I can only compliment staff.

The staff seem to be well aware that they are going down a path with a lot of unknowns, and seemed anxious to gather as much information as they can in order to make the best recommendation possible before the end of the pilot. And for this I can only compliment them; If they had a opinion, then they did a good job of not sharing what it might be at the meeting.

One of the things that would be very good for all of us (meaning those who are for, or against, and even those who are conflicted) to push MTO for is to demand that the MTO start collecting more data about e-bikes, and also more data about cycling. Having more data means that staff, and ultimately all of us, can make better (or at least more informed) decisions.

The other things that we should be pushing the MTO and province for is the programming needed to support e-bikes, and cycling in general. Again this is something that we should be asking MTO and the province to be doing no matter if you're for/against/conflicted about these machines. Programming should include more driver instruction about sharing the roads with cyclists and e-bikes, and could include funding for improving existing cycling infrastructure -- if e-bikes will be allowed to use them (ie not downloading this "problem" to municipalities without some form of support), informing municipalities about best practices for integrating e-bikes (and cycling), and other supports as may be required.

An idea struck me on my commute into work this morning and I thought I would put it out for consideration.

The current friction between road users (cars / bikes / e-bikes) is causing us to focus on what makes us different instead of what binds all of us together.

We all need to share the road, but instead of trying to find solutions to our perceived problems, we are preoccupied with fighting about who is more "entitled" to use our public roads.

The time has come for us to start working together, while respecting the needs of each other.

I am glad you said "Not Really" and not "Not at All". I agree the Ministry and staff did a fine job. My objection would be the lack of understanding or knowledge of the product in question, by most. With no data collected over the 2.6 years, I fear the decision is going to be based on perception and opinion. There were no statistics on safety, accidents, incidents..merely opinion.
I recently got off the phone with the ICBC in Vancouver to ask what objections if any they had in particular to the scooter style e-bike on their roads for the past 5 years. My contact was not only extremely friendly when she answered the phone but most helpful in providing me with contact information. The fact that they are still on the roads, allowed on bike paths, still uninsured and unlicenced after 5 years speaks volumes. Perhaps not loud enough for certain people to hear or want to hear. As I have mentioned before to lobby against a clean and attractive alternative on bike lanes and roadways across Ontario because of downtown conjestion is unthinkable. Even if you put a bylaw that they could not go on streets south of bloor, for crying out loud there are thousands of kilometeres of unused paths elsewhere that could be used for these bikes. They are not capable of great speeds so licencing and insuring them is their demise...Landfill here they come....5000 of them. Good Work!

Well said...I hope not too late....

There has been so many comments I decided to have my say.

Last year I helped my mother buy an ebike. You can barely tell it is one. The bike still has pedals and the electric motor power assists her. I think it is great. She has knee problems and would never ride anymore. Instead she goes shopping, rides with my nephews. I think it is great.

I can see myself getting one like it one day. I would still consider myself a cyclist. I would still be a member of the TCU. I see that as positive.

On the otherhand, I ride home daily along the Martin Goodman Trail. Coming east every evening is a woman returning from work. Her "bike" has a windshield, two large panniers and no pedals. It is as big as a large motorcycle. Say a 750 cc. To me she is taking advantage of the bike lane. She is riding a motorcycle, electric motor or not. She shouldn't be there.

Just because a vehicle doesn't have a gas motor doesn't mean they are not a motor vehicle. The electric car was a much better environmental alternative but it was still a car. Similarly, if a bike has a motor but no way of being human powered, it is not a bicycle. It is a motor vehicle. It should be legislated as such.

One who loves sailing could easily say the same thing. If it has a motor,t is not a boat. I agree with e-bikes not being alowed on certain bike paths, but strongly disagree with the TCUs stance on wishing them banned off bike lanes altogether The problems with congestion are limited to certain areas. To ask for a provincial ban when they are capable of trnsporting people to and from work without hem using their car is atrocious. There are so many areas that would benefit from e-bikes and there are so many people that are benefiting from e-bikes. BC;s 6 years of success and our almost 3 years of success should speak for something. I do not ride mne downtown. I ride it back and forth to work minding my own business and not polluting, so I do find it offensive that an organization like the TCU would object to my clean method of travel. I find the club narrow minded and selfish.

I am certainly not hurting anybody taking mine to the corner store or to work instead of my truck and quite often a16 foot trailer attached to the back of it. I take my lane. Last year when gas hit $1.40 a litre I went everywhere on that little thing. Quietly and without emittng toxins into the air. If they are banned, I will resort back to my truck (and sometimes trailer) and carry on. One of the objections from the Ministry was that e-bikes are too quiet. They claim bicycles make a noise with the changing of the gears so everyone can hear them coming. (I wonder who what organisation gave them this red herring) I will speak from my own experience, when my wife and I go riding together, her on her pedal bike and me on my e-bike, I am making a "whirring noise" from my electric motor and she is making her "bicycle noise". Any young person with their complete hearing range in tact can hear either of us. Anybody older will hear neither of us. I am just as "alert" on my e-bike as someone else on their "pedal bike", to avoid collisions with other cyclists. I agree with above poster that certain paths be "prohibited" to e-bikes but not all. One less car on the road should be everyones goal. I know not all cyclists agree with the TCU position on e-bikes and I hope they voice their opinion before its too late. You may not have a use for one today, but never say never.

MTO is now seeking input from people about eBikes. You can read about it here. Veloteq E-Biker, perhaps you'd like to share more of your convo with ICBC when you read that article.

You'd have to be crazy to ride an eBike over 35-ish km/h. Likewise with a conventional bicycle, which I know can reach 50+ on some hills. They don't have disc brakes and aren't meant to go fast.

eBikes and bicycles were manufactured to go slow, they aren't just 2-wheeled vehicles electronically or geared to be crippled; the screws holding things together aren't made for the higher speed shakeups. Different alloys, different tolerances. Not to mention the nut behind the wheel.

By my math, you've spent more on your mods than it would have cost to buy a low-end REAL electric motorcycle or good gas scooter. Which makes me skeptical that you're perhaps an anti-eBiker just trolling with half-baked ideas you read on the net, written by some teenager.

If you see an eBiker without pedals, use your cellphone and call police. Sounds like what you are describing is, indeed, a motorcycle operating on a bicycle path.

I call the cops about bicyclists all the time now when I see bikes on the sidewalk, even if they are just "trying to go around" traffic at a red light because there is no room to squeeze between cars and curb. Just because you're stuck in traffic, pedal cyclist, is no reason to jump the sidewalk and endanger pedestrians!

I agree that eBikes are not "bicycles" but your statement that if it's not human-powered then it must be a motorcycle is too broad. Would you also say that a bike pulling one of those baby trailers is a "car" because it has been converted into a four-wheeled contraption and therefore belongs in the car lanes?

How it's powered or how many wheels it has should be irrelevant. How it behaves is the important thing. (Personally, I would like to see a four-wheeled pedal-powered mini-car!)

eBikes are legally restricted to be comparable to bicycles in speed and performance, so they should be treated as "different but equal" to bicycles.

And any a-holes, regardless of what kind of vehicle they are riding/driving, should pay the appropriate and existing legal penalties. We don't need more laws, just 52 week (instead of one week) enforcement of the rules we have.

All I can say is that I am ashamed of the Toronto Cycling Union and their negative opinions on ebikes. I do not live in toronto and what business is it of theirs where I ride my e-bike. I hate Toronto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The TCU is doing alot of good as well so I am trying to be less critical of them as a whole. I do of course disagree strong with this one issue. I have attempted to try and reach a mutual understanding of how we can work together and will continue. Of course we are on damage control because of the myths associated with e-bikes that the Ministry has been presented with.

Hi Folks...Happy Fathers Day!

As you know there was only one province with a pilot program for e-bikes(Ontario) and one province with a weight restriction (Alberta). As of July 1st Alberta is adopting the Federal Definition of E-Bikes and lifting the weight restriction.

Harmonizing the federal and provincial definitions for these vehicles will eliminate uncertainty in consumer transactions and add clarity to enforcement of the regulation.

Ontario Should be the leaders not the laggers when it comes to alternative and sustainable transportation options.

Will Ontario Join the TCU and others like them, to have the reputation of the ones who tried to "kill the electric bike"? Stay Tuned. Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel.

http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType41/pro...

Alberta initially imposed a weight restriction which rendered the scooter style non'compliant because of their weight.
Now 8 years later they lift the weight restriction. This leaves Ontario to be the only province that they are in question.
The negativity from the province still is a major deterrent for Ontarians to purchase one.The retailers should hire a lawyer and sue the province for loss of sales. It oculd easily be proved.

Just read the ministry's concerns regarding ebikes. It is amazing that they could actually post those types of concerns . Too quiet? A bicycle makes noise? omg. what genius came up with that one. my bike is totally quiet, i hoep i don't get pulled over by the police. lol Theya re too long? my dads e-bike is shorter than my bicycle. Did anybody do any research? Rather than ask other provinces for stats or facts or their opinions becuase they have had them for many years they figured it would be better to call a bunch a people in a room that know nothing about them and speculate on whether they should legal. Ha! Ha! isn't government wonderful? Lets be the only province that is against them. wouldnt that be perfect for our reputation. Ontario is more than the have not province they are the never will be as well. It is getting worse and worse here every year.

Great thread folks... Nice to read the more considered thoughts about "eBikes" versus the TCU et al mania (Annie...marry me?).

I am a human-electric hybrid pedestrian. Ten years now and over 10K kms in commutes across Toronto.

I (my vehicles) had been banned from one-eighth of Toronto (City parks) because I am not solely human powered.

I am a pedestrian at heart so for me my vehicles have been my laufmaschines (running machines), as God (von Drais) intended... Kick bikes that are "direct drive" without pedals. Others call them kick scooters also foot bikes and KickBikes(tm)... except that mine carry extra energy stored onboard in chemical batteries...

My running machines (aka "scooters") are not as fast as Usain Bolt on foot, but they get me across town faster than rush-hour speeds and the TTC.

Because moving from walking to kicking to motoring and back is easy and fluid and immediate (unlike the Victorian pedal bicycle) my running machines mix more readily with other pedestrian and pedal-only traffic...

Contrary to accepted "wisdom" I surf Toronto sidewalks as well as roads... whatever is safest for me and those around me. The empty sidewalks of Downsview and Don Mills etc are my "scooter highways". The power-assist provides great acceleration which makes it easier to slow down around intersections and visual obstructions...

I am talking of course about commercially manufactured machines that are made in the millions every year and are legal and in common use in many other jurisdictions outside of Ontario.

Yes, energy sources are an issue. Yes, under "electric" power in Ontario I am running mostly on nuclear and coal. But I have the option of plugging in to wind and solar and micro-hydro (solar+gravity), and each day that Ontario cleans up it's power generation my vehicles get a little "cleaner"...

Yes, batteries are an issue. But I look at them like the exhaust from a car, except that this exhaust is "captured" as a spent brick (battery) that CAN be recycled, rather than car exhaust that is just blown into the air that we breath...

...and pedal-cyclists can not overlook the fact that our food energy today is also very "dirty". Much of it full of hydrocarbons used to manufacture artificial fertilizers and packaging and to transport and store before sale.

...and that the "exhaust" from food energy leaves a trail of packaging in our landfills and sewage in our drinking water.

Yes, we are "designed" over millions of years as hunter-gathers and need our daily exercise but navigating urban streets plagued with 20th-century motorized carriages (heavy machinery) piloted by amateurs many of whom are disabled by age and drugs/alcohol and yell phones and testostorone is about the most dangerous form of exercise possible. Almost any other form of exercise is safer.

And pedaling a bike through smoggy urban canyons where respiration rates are elevated actually increases exposure to airborne pollutants...

Adding power-assist to your pedal (or kick) vehicle means that exercise is built in as an option, and that cyclists can "lean" more on the stored power when airborne pollutants are at their highest levels... and need not exhaust themselves with pedal effort where this can mean less attention to the dangerous traffic around them.

Anyway... don't get me started (hehe)

Thanks to all here who have an open mind. For speaking up. There is a lot of educating to do.

For the record I do NOT appreciate the "scooter-style" ebikes that have been showing up in Toronto. They are not true hybrids. Their ergonomics are poor for pedaling. Their design (heavy) goes against a basic tenet of electric vehicle design (lighter is better for range, acceleration and braking) and they are poorly constructed to minimum standards in sweatshops in China.

But they are still far superior to the 20th-century motorized carriage in terms of safety for the rest of us who are on foot and on two-wheels. And some day Torontonians will wake up to what "real" power-assist ebikes look like, and how the added power transforms the venerable pedal bike.

Regards
lOCk
Toronto

I was blown away to read this the other day. Must ask the poster where he got this info:
"the federal government gave in to la belle provence for a lower (ed:wattage) limit to serve as a trade barrier protecting home grown Bionx..."

Just wish to add Freedex to your list of adaptive bikes:
Freedex

Don't hate. Educate!

Great looking bikes! Innovation is a wonderful thing. Can you imagine if people were still pedaling around on bicycles from the 1900's. It would be like the automotive industry trying to ban todays bikes claiming they're too fast, too light, and my favourite for 2009...Too Quiet!

**The term innovation means a new way of doing something. It may refer to incremental, radical, and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. **

Nice Post and I agree, I have found Annie D's comments and views to be "attractive". LOL
Scooter Style e-bikes will eventually evolve into a much lighter bike as new affordable battery technology emerges. To rush it with "weight restrictions" of 50kg or less would be unproductive and irresponsible.
Manufacturers would be forced to make a lighter framed bike, which would hold a 62 pound battery, dress it up with a scooter style cosmetic fairing and nothing would change, except people would be riding around on a scooter style bike that is too light to safely carry a 62 pound battery.The thousands that exist today would be tomorrows landfill all in the name of what?
Ontario should adopt the federal definition as did all the other provinces and let the subject rest. There are far greater issues ahead.

Looking at the quartet of pics at the Freedex website, it's difficult to find what's so innovative about these trikes --recumbent or otherwise. The model in upper left corner looks to use a stock -- and cheap -- CCM MTB frame grafted onto a dual wheel axle. Ho hum. Any backyard mechanic can, and no doubt has, assembled something similar. Is it the cheesy molded plastic wheels, circa 1985, that are innovative here? General designs like this have been around for a 100 years.

The obvious fact about bicycle -- non e! -- developments is that they exclude breakthroughs in the vehicle's powerplant and are severely limited where it concerns ergonomics. Nothing changes quickly on that front, but that's mother nature's fault.

Since the refinement of the standard diamond frame configuration in the early 1900s most of the bicycle related advances have revolved around materials: better grades of the steel, Al, Ti, and now, carbon fiber reinforced plastic. And more esoterically aerodynamics.

Nothing unfortunate there, it merely indicates that the nature of the beast is about as close to a perfect solution as you're likely to encounter. Sort of like a shark: evolution has kept it around for a couple hundred million years and it's still the best at what it does. ;-)

I suppose one could consider it innovative to suddenly discover that time tested designs are still relevant -- after all, you did apply the term to thinking as well -- but I wonder that you shouldn't be praising tradition instead of innovation in this case.

Hi Luke. No, nothing innovative perhaps, but a local guy (Buy Canadian?) who has helped hundreds of folks over the years stay mobile with various disabilities.
Tks

..

Our purpose is to provide safe mobility and wellness to people who currently require wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, who need to go shopping, or who just find walking any distance to be overpowering. We expect to revitalize the legs, knees, and heart muscles through ability-appropriate exercise while providing enjoyment and mobility. In cases where hills or other conditions limit the use of our tricycles, Electric assist is available. Please see our Products page for more information.

The above was taken off the Freedex site! Great Bikes! Look what they offer to their clients in terms of mobility and independance. Lighten Up.

If affordable battery technology improves so that smaller batteries can provide more power, why would ebikes retain their low maximum speeds?

Is there some reason why people would choose to go slower, given the ability to go faster? I haven't seen it yet in a car, but maybe there's something I'm missing.

E-Bikes are limited to 32 km per hour by law. The benefit of having new lighter better battery technology would be to improve charge time and range.

There's nothing wrong with going over 35 km/h on a bicycle. Of course the stopping distance will be longer. That should be taken into account by the cyclist.

Most bikes are built to go faster than 35 km/h. Your claim that the "screws" that hold them together aren't strong is unsubstantiated.

"Just what exactly is a real electric motorcycle??? what I am talking about is taking a half cooked, toxic, underpowered design and giving it real life power. If I want to get home with the groceries, move loads and passengers or pass slower moving traffic, then the expensive mods I do are justified. To my knowledge there are no real electric motorcycles currently available in Canada.

Lets take the total cost of a basic gas 150cc bike. Total cost, with tax out the door over $3500. Well, with the cost of gas and insurance then the running cost needs to be factored in. That will make for an easy $5000 investment over the first year of ownership. What I am doing is taking a $1000 bike off the shelf, equipping it with enough power to be functional (as much as a gas bike) and delivering it to people in a package that will be virtually indistinguishable from the underpowered counterpart. After that, if so and so drives like a nut..... any vehicle, including a bicycle can easily, and safely (depending on the riders skill) travel well beyond 32Km/hr. The ebike that are sold in todays market are dangerously underpowered!!!!

Oh, and for you files, the better ebikes are made from the same metal as the gas bikes, in fact they are often the same frames with an electric conversion you dolt. If the gas version is safe to do 80KM, then it makes sense that the electric version is spec'd for it. In fact, the same bikes in the US and Asia do those speeds, and yes, many of the better bikes come with disc brakes...

So as far as expense safety and my Half baked ideas... well, perhaps you should just sit back and shut up while your brain digests and catches up to the rest of us looking to provide real alternatives.

Look for me on the road pulling a trailer. 350lb payload, up any hill in Ontario at 60km/hr. No cops, no tickets, no gas, not too expensive... Shall I continue or are you feeling foolish enough mr RANDOM AND ANONYMOUS NOBODY LURKER, get stuffed
BTW I am 39yrs old and have a degree in physics.

"...Is there some reason why people would choose to go slower..."

Uhhh... legal speed limits? Folks need to understand it is silly to regulate technology... Our laws should concern themselves only with "bad behaviour"...
tks
loK

All I'm saying is that "E-bikes should be allowed to use bike lanes because they are incapable of going faster than 32km/h" is kind of a strange argument, in the long term.

Yes, at the moment, they are legally limited to that speed - that's what makes them, according to some arguments, different than cars and more like bikes... and why licenses are unnecessary.

But it seems to me that they are also limited to that speed by technology. I imagine that if battery-powered bikes were going 100km/h, the battery wouldn't last long enough to get very far.

But if (or more likely, when) technology improves to the point that an batteries can put out that kind of power, won't e-bikers start asking to be able to go faster that 32km/h? Why would anyone NOT ask for the legal right to do so, if possible?

It seems to me that advances in technology will make e-bikes more and more like electric motorcycles, probably in the near future.

This isn't an attack on e-bikes, by the way, so don't get all bent out of shape. I'm just kind of thinking aloud.

There are quite a few electric motorcycles and full size Vespa style scooters out there already. Search YouTube for TTXGP to see/hear what state-of-the-art looks like right now.

The pedal bike has been around well over 100yrs and (most ppl accept) is a ppl-friendly part of our transportation mix. Light weight and slower speeds mean they are not designed to crush and maim when things go arwy...

If an electric motor on a bike helps promote a trend in urban transport to more light weight and slower speed transportation at the expense of the 20th-century motorized carriage our streets will become safer and our cities a little more civilized.

Providing one class of ebike restricted by law and design to be similar to the pedal bike performance envelope, and keeping it free of all the greater restrictions that come with larger and more powerful vehicles, I believe many ppl will find an attractive tradeoff.
tks
LoK

And does anyone know how they arrived at the max speed of 32km/h for the law? Why 32?

Would it make a difference to cyclists if these e-bikes could only travel at 15km/h? Would e-bikers continue to use them if they could only go 15km/h?

It's nice to see Alberta, land of oil and gas be so open to electric. Lived there for 10 years and have no idea why I left. Oh yeah, married a girl from Oakville! LOL

Effective July 1, 2009 in Alberta, "a power-bicycle will have a top speed of 32 km/h, an electric motor with a maximum power of 500 watts and no weight restriction," the regulation states.

The new regulations admit that the government needed to modernize its thinking and adapt the old rules to accommodate new technologies and consumer tastes. "Alberta's [old] definitions are too restrictive and don't allow for the types of vehicles that are being sold," the new regulation says. As a result of the old regulations, Albertans were buying federally approved Power Assisted Bicycles and "inappropriately licensing and operating them as mopeds."

The federal regulations explicitly state that Power Assisted Bicycles should be treated as bicycles and not as limited speed motorcycles.
Posted by ontEBA: at 11:53 AM

In the federal study (2000) that legalized and standardized eBikes, ALL the cyclists remarked that the then-legal limit of 24 was too slow.

It was too slow for the people on eBikes to feel comfortable with the handling of the bike, it was too slow for the conventional cyclists who kept passing the eBikes, it was too slow for anyone to justify switching to an eBike from a conventional cycle, and it was too slow for both types of cyclists who who thought "about 30 km/h" would be a safer road speed.

I gather that the "experts" felt that 32 was the speed of an averagely-fit (but not hardbody) cyclist who was working it a bit but not going maniac on the street but perhaps I am reading into the study

You can find the study (and others) at http://onteba.blogspot.com/. Look for the CEVEQ study.

Hehe... it's just a nice round number (32kph=20mph) for "experts" that are just guessing about stuff that they have no research about. Why not 40kph (25mph)? Wouldn't it be "rounder"? Probably "40" sounds like too big of a number... lol It's just politicians and bureaucrats pandering to an ignorant electorate.
tks
lOk

It's nice to see Alberta, land of oil and gas be so open to electric. Lived there for 10 years and have no idea why I left.

Oil > People.

That is one reason I wouldn't go anywhere near Alberta.

The study results make sense. 20kph would mean that the ebike is slower than much of the bike lane traffic and 40kph would mean it would be faster than much of the bike lane traffic - which basically would result in all kinds of merging/passing/ire.

Now allowing 40 would be convenient, no doubt (just like it's convenient for a cyclist to put on a burst of speed for certain situations), but having them regularly go at that speed would be unsafe for reasons mentioned above. So, a speed limit would have to be implemented and enforced and brings up the question of whether cyclists would have to do the same, etc. Obviously something we wouldn't want to see happen.

As it stands, a speed limit for cyclists isn't necessary because (I'm making assumptions) many of the cyclists wouldn't be able to keep up the sprinting speeds for long.

I just skimmed through the previous posts and started to think about the irony...

Some of the most vociferous people have arguments that only make sense if you're a large city dweller, such as to carry everything in your bike. Other ones don't like Alberta because it produces oil, but don't realize that most of that oil is being consumed by Toronto, or other large cities - Alberta happens to have the most ecologically minded town in Canada (Okotoks - search "Drake Landing" as an example).

where do you thing that your bike tires come from? Or your spandex/lycra shorts? Oil!

Oil itself isn't bad, using too much of it, wasting it, that's bad. Unless if you believe in living without technology altogether, but then you wouldn't be using a computer and reading this, would you? So it's safe to assume that your like some level of technology.

I live in an acreage and we are movign toward a zero energy footporint (solar collectors, super insulation, local food production, etc.), but I'm not willing to go back to the medieval days, I enjoy my comforts.

My house will last a couple hundred years, it was built that way, unlike most others. Because right there you're wasting more energy (oil/coal/nuclear), then in all your car trips of your life - But most houses in North America will be garbabge in about 50 years.... In Europe you have people lining in houses that were build hundreds of years ago, so that energy was not wasted like it is here.

So, I laugh when someone believes that he/she has the moral high ground just because they don't use a car, but on the other hand:
- Thats a cog in the oil CONSUMING machine that is our modern society in any city in North America (the larger the worse).
- Or lives in an appartment building.
- Or thinks that copenhagen is paradise (in spite of the fact that the city can only survive by consuming massive amouts of energy).
- Or buys fruit from Latin America, cycling clothes from Europe or Asia, bycicle from Japan.
- Or Consumes health foods from all over the world.
- Etc.

You probably see where I'm going with this... WE ARE ALL PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Unless if you indeed live in the agricultural commune, walk/jog everywhere ('cause even bikes are built by the evil industrial complex in case you didn't know), grow your own food, and read from clay tablets by vegetable oil candle light. Then just be supportive of everyone's contributions, no matter how small they are - Get off your high horse and be SUPPORTIVE, because unless if you live in a cave you're just another evergy consumer.

Well, I better go back to my work for an oil company, so you will have electricity to read this post on your computer... ;)

PS:
Best green post I've read: "Why don't they build an electric car and mount a wind turbine on top of it? That way you could charge the car as you drive and you wouldn't need to plug it in."
Best answer: "Please lookup "perpetual motion" on wikipedia..."

You're right pointing out other people's hypocrisy and mistakes is a total waste of time, so I'm not going to respond to this post. I'm going to go ride my bike.

We invite you to respond to any question listed below, to post your nightmare, hope, or experience with open education, or to reply to another posting.

I'd love the workshop and we have quite a few e-scooters and such in Parkdale.

I believe there is a serious lack of mechanics/technicians in the increasing field of e-vehicles.

I know a number of semi-disabled people who'd like to have cargo e-trikes but the cost is prohibitive.

Regards,
Logo Design

Actually it is. It's just the infrastructure that is missing. My ebike has a battery pack with a 50km range on one charge. Weights less than 20lbs with associated electronics. And it can be swapped in less than a minute for another charged pack. So if I could swap packs at service stations I could basically keep going forever with only brief pit stops... Sorta like fillups at gas stations, only faster and without the fumes and spills.
tks
locC

Speaking of going out an riding. I went out for an evening stroll on my scooter style e-bike, and no, not to work off my dinner but just for fun. On my ride I couldn't help but notice an LCBO so I pulled in front and bought a nice bottle of red wine, and continued on my journey. Several bikers, and pedestrians were sincerely impressed with how quiet my bike was and asked where it was purchased. I find all the people I meet on my e-bike to be very positive about them. Alot of negativity seems to fester on blogs like this. So, I suggest before criticising someones choice perhaps instead go out on your bicycle, and pick yourself up a couple of beers and chill.

**** Why not just buy a Blue Avenue Striker 100? It has lithium batteries already that can go more than 100 kms for only $2200. I own the bike for 2 months now and it sure has a lot of advantages over lead acid battery ebikes. Check out::

http://www.blueavenue.ca/StrikerEbike100.html

hi there, very interresting blog, i just bought a an e bike that looks like a regular scooter
it goes 35km i want tit to go about 50km no more can u hel

Sunny, it's real eezy. Just remove the electric motor and swap in a vespa gas engine. Also put on disc breakes. Ebike scooters just like any stock bicycle were not built to go much over 35-40. You want faster get a moto license and buy a motorcycle

A bike is not designed to travel at high speeds. It has no suspension and when you ride faster than 20 - 25 mph or 35km/h every little bump feels like giant potholes. Also its very hard to brake when going that fast, my brakes lock up on me constantly. Ive ran into so many cars that had rolled through stop signs, if i was going 50km/h or 31mph i would have filped right over the hood of those cars and bent my tire. All that aside if you travel faster than 35km/h you have to register/insure your bike and have a liscence to operate it.

First off- My ebike has 35Ah batteries that total 75 pounds and does not effect my distance at all since my 36v motor can pull 350+ and most can do even better. The 35Ah's last 3x the distance of my original 12Ah batteries so recheck your math.

Their man purpose is used for short 30 mile or less commutes.

An ebike is not a substitute for a pick up truck, most people who use them are not trying to haul pianos or deviler goods to grocery stores.

The world will always need and use gas vehicles especially in industry and military use. But I dont need one to go to work or the store. However at work I use a V8 gas truck to haul a loaded trailer and have no plans on changing it.

Now I don't agree with some people who want to abolish gas vehicles and go green and all that mess. But I don't believe I should use gas just to get around my town and my ebike sure beats the hell out of walking.

I don't think we will ever see battery stations like we see gas stations. They would have to carry thousands of different types and sizes of batteries to accommodate everyone. SLA, LiPO, LiFE, NiCd, NiMh 6v, 12v, 24v, 36v, 7Ah, 10Ah, 12Ah, 18Ah, 22Ah, and so on. What your describing is just like the ppx LP propane gas exchange and most gas stations only have a little cage with just a few canisters. The reason they can handle all the cars that come in to get gas is the HUGE underground tanks that store the gas. Not to mention it cost cents not dollars to charge a battery and hours not minutes so how would the stations make a profit. I would not be comfortable paying a huge mark up just for the convenience of swapping batteries. Plus each battery would have to be tested so it would take longer than a few minutes to pull up and swap them out. What makes more sense and is much more doable than a battery station is having extra packs at your house/work that are already charged up. I have several packs from 10Ah to 35Ah because I was sick of waiting hours on end to ride again between charges. And this is all just for ebikes. EV's are a whole other story since they require much larger battery banks and both are limited by the fact that most batteries can only except a charge current of about 3.6 amps and lithium batteries are too expensive and the safer ones are even more so. And I know that lithium is cheaper in the long run because they last 1000's of charge cycles but SLA's are so damn cheap.

hey pal, I hate Law Enforcement just as much as the next guy, but it's your own damn fault you got tickets for not having a light and failure to stop. You cant just say that everyone who disagrees with you "represents law enforcement". A bike is a vehicle and it needs a light for your safety and the safety of others. No motorist wants to run over someone on a bike, who could live with that so it's up to you to make sure they can see you which is why you have a light and stop at stop signs. And i feel you on the suspended license, mine has been suspended for the last 5 years all for unpaid fines which started as a seat belt ticket that the cop told me was a warning and accumulated to court fines because my county's clerk of courts puts a lien on your license if you dont pay your court fines. Thats why I have an ebike in the first place and being punk rock at heart having a bike with a motor that required no license insurance or registration that the cops couldnt do a thing about was right up my alley. I dont want to break the law i want to circumvent it. if people go whizzing around faster then 25 mph on ebikes the LAW will come down and regulate all this. Hell they make gas kits that get 40+mph at 100+mpg for $160, far cheaper that an ebike kit, but they are loud and you will get noticed by the pigs with the quickness. I love the fact that ebikes are quiet and under the radar and hope they stay that way. So you go ahead and smoke your refer and mod your ebike and have fun when your locked up for possession and unlawful operation of an unregistered/uninsured motor vehicle with out a license, then you can sit in the day room with all the other inmates talking about how the cop that busted you was a dick. I've been arrested for all that before and it aint fun and it aint cheap.

Im perfectly content with the speed of my ebike, 25mph on a fresh charge and 20mph average. I have huge batteries that will take me as far as my buttcheeks can handle in one sitting. So what I'm looking for is mods for convenience such as ways to charge cell phones and ways to carry cups from gas stations and fast food places or how to wire rope lights to run off batteries. I have some 12v 10Ah batteries I no longer use for powering my ebike since they only go 8.6 miles and start losing power after the first 5 miles. I want to wire a car cigar lighter with a 10 amp fuse to one or more of them to power other things. Is this doable or is it easier to use a dc to ac inverter? Or are both just bad ideas?

Im perfectly content with the speed of my ebike, 25mph on a fresh charge and 20mph average. I have huge batteries that will take me as far as my buttcheeks can handle in one sitting. So what I'm looking for is mods for convenience such as ways to charge cell phones and ways to carry cups from gas stations and fast food places or how to wire rope lights to run off batteries. I have some 12v 10Ah batteries I no longer use for powering my ebike since they only go 8.6 miles and start losing power after the first 5 miles. I want to wire a car cigar lighter with a 10 amp fuse to one or more of them to power other things. Is this doable or is it easier to use a dc to ac inverter? Or are both just bad ideas?

I think those questions require a different forum actually. Ebikes are barely on topic in the first place. Once you get into re-wiring and such, you are definitely not in the right territory for getting expert group opinion. Off hand, it sounds unsafe, but I'm sure there are knowledgeable people who could tell you how to put it together without causing a meltdown.

etc etc... yes, easy. But yes too, ya need to add the DC-DC converter. Likely yer pack is 4x12V batts in series so 48V... most accessories expect 12V. You can "tap" the pack (connect to only one 12V batt) but this is not cool. Batts in a pack need to be treated equally. A 48V-12V converter from PowerStream costs $400 weighs 6lbs and will output about 300W.

BTW, RMC in Port Colbourne now recycles Lithium batts. 100% recovery. Much better than the sewage and landfill (packaging) from using food energy for transport (wink)

Cheers
lloK

This town doesn't have it. There's a lot to do before the relatively marginal differences b/w a bike and an e-bike are worth anyone's time. It's like debating whether poverty can ever be completely abolished. Maybe, maybe not. But it an sure be diminished from present levels so quit wasting your time chattering.

And after that., my two cents: anything that gets people on bikes is good. Older people, less fit people, lazy people, people in a hurry - all of them should be on bikes, too.

I'm a slightly overweight middle-aged male with two young sons (thus, not much free time to spend riding) contemplating a 33km each-way commute that, because of lousy, lazy and dangerous (for the bike rider) road design, may have to be done up and down ravines and parks from the Beaches to Markham. A long flat ride I can handle easily; a long, winding-up-and -own ride of that length may be a little too much on a daily basis. A pedal-assist ebike that could make hills easier and the occasional long stretches on the shoulder faster might well make the difference between riding and not riding.

Hey timbnyc... 33km is a fair distance to ride... Also, the distance from the tarmac at the Island Airport to Downsview Airport is 401 feet - straight up/down... you will use about twice as many Ahs going up as you will coming back down, so ya need to factor that into the equation... Also, don't buy one of those "scooter-style" ebikes. Instead, get a "real" bike that is comfortable to pedal w/out using the batts. Pedaling from stops and up hills conserves a lot of batt power. All batt chemistries lose some apparent capacity when they are cold (non-summer months) so keep that in mind as well. You should plan to plug in at work... Finally, don't buy lead batts. Everybody that understands this stuff has moved to Lithium (LiFePO4.) There is a premium to pay at purchase, but they pay back in the long run w/longer life and better performance.

I have about 8yrs and well over 10,000kms of experience as human-electric hybrid in commutes from the harbour to Downsview and Don Mills... Most of Toronto-area ebike retailers will happily sell you crap w/inflated claims about performance. Pls.educate yerself before buying. Google for ebikes.ca and "endless sphere"...
cheers
lLoK

Thanks for the info! I'm going to try using my regular bike to see what happens but I think the distance and the topography will make that too much. My plan is to stick to the parks in the ravines as much as possble.

I used to alternate commuting by bike/walking in Manhattan, a distance of about 9 miles, 8 miles of which was on a level, straight path closed to motor vehicles. In midtown, I would usually get off my bike and walk it on the sidewalk for the last quarter mile or so. I'm a coward when it comes to cars - I don't mind if one car hits me and knocks me over but I do mind the second and third and etc. cars that will then run me over.

That commute no problem at all for me, so I'm hoping I can get used to the additional distance (and I won't be walking it at all, unless I take buses for some distance at either end, which of course defeats the purpose). But if not, I'm glad ebikes are an available alternative. Without them, the only alternative would be driving or taking the bus.

Yer Welcome :)

If your bike has steel front forks, this would work for you:
http://www.ampedbikes.com/frontgearkit.jpg

Looks like $330US plus shipping...just be sure to install torque arms with the thing...

I am used to struggling out to Downview on only 240Wh/17lbs of lead batts... Not enough. I have been "opportunity charging" all these years. Plugging in to restaurant etc patios mid-way north for breakfast or break... 240Whs can (just) get me the same 20kms coming back (downhill!)

So I have 480Whs of Lithium on its way to me now... twice the capacity but only weighs 12lbs. Looks like this:
http://www.evcomponents.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode...

...so you can add another $400 approx. to that bike conversion kit for some "serious" capacity...

Note the part where the specs say "2000 cycles to 70% DOD"...

"DOD" is "depth of discharge" where 100% is fully discharged (very bad idea)

If ya rode to work and return for 50 weeks a year, five daze a week, and recharged twice each day, that pack should last ya four years before it starts to get "tired" and needs to be recycled and each commute round-trip will cost you 40 cents worth of battery. (480Whs of electricity is so cheap it's almost free... what? ten cents? something like that for one full charge?)

Probably 480Whs would get you that 33kms to work... Depends a lot on how much you pedal in the mix. How heavy you are, ambient winds, how much you like to show off, etc etc...

Oh yah... And you'll need a charger. There are two kinds. Fast and slow (more Amps or less Amps. Bigger+heavier or smaller+lighter.) Slower is cheaper if you don`t mind the wait.

Cheers
LocK

Another (possibly better) source:
http://www.e-bikekit.com/
tks
Lokk

seen your post would like to ask a few question , plus I would also like to buy a few thing for my ebike ,

Thanks

Richard

Effective tomorrow the "pilot project" is officially over and ebikes are now legal in Ontario

http://www.news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2009/10/electric-bikes-allowed-on-ontario-roads.html

I have seen plans to develop a 3 person passenger vehicle with "pedal assist" and a trike design capable of 35kph with a range (without pedaling) of 120km. When introduced in Canada the plan is to utilize the E-bike example to avoid regulation, by summarily having the device determined a bicycle or toy. So no age restrictions, no training, and 35KPH with 3 passengers = 850lbs.

great.

find it yourself, I really don't want to be the one to show you.

So you've had four months to do this.

a) Where's the video of your bike work?

b) If you believe that some Chinese sweatshop that makes gas scooter frames is using the same heavy-duty alloy screws and bolts and welds on a cheapo e-bike version... then I have a swamp -- er a beach -- in Florida for you. I repair motorcycles and I can tell you that better and lesser bikes from the same companies don't even use the same quality nuts and bolts.

Your degree in Physics apparently didn't teach you much about manners. I hope you drive better than you present yourself in public. (Did you live to see 40?)

As far as conversion kits go ampedbikes has the best quality that I have seen personally.

They chose a separate route rather than buying off the shelf China kits they are actually developing products. I have a Clyte Sparrow and an ampedbikes kit from Http://www.ampedbikes.com

They seem to be the only ones constantly developing to stay ahead of this new game.

They have a new battery tube that mounts in the frame and are adding a programmable speed controller in this battery.. Check this out..

You will be able to have complete control of speed, amps, range, torque etc etc etc VIA your IPHONE or ITOUCH.!!!

This field is growing soo fast and I see a great future for ebikes and conversions.

Muheb

As far as conversion kits go ampedbikes has the best quality that I have seen personally.

They chose a separate route rather than buying off the shelf China kits they are actually developing products. I have a Clyte Sparrow and an ampedbikes kit.

They seem to be the only ones constantly developing to stay ahead of this new game.

They have a new battery tube that mounts in the frame and are adding a programmable speed controller in this battery.. Check this out..

You will be able to have complete control of speed, amps, range, torque etc etc etc VIA your iphone or itouch.!!!

This field is growing soo fast and I see a great future for ebikes and conversions.

Muheb

As far as conversion kits go ampedbikes has the best quality that I have seen personally.

They chose a separate route rather than buying off the shelf China kits they are actually developing products. I have a Clyte Sparrow and an ampedbikes kit.

They seem to be the only ones constantly developing to stay ahead of this new game.

They have a new battery tube that mounts in the frame and are adding a programmable speed controller in this battery.. Check this out..

You will be able to have complete control of speed, amps, range, torque etc etc etc VIA your iphone or itouch.!!!

This field is growing soo fast and I see a great future for ebikes and conversions.

Muheb

I own three conversions. The sparrow from Clyte, the BMC 400W and the Ampedbikes geared motor with disk brake. I have to say that my amped kit is the best quality of all of my kits and oddly enough the least expensive.

I have followed them from humble beginnings as a family run company into an incredible technology company that does not stop engineering new products.

On their main page I was pleased to find the new in frame lithium battery. I emailed them about it and was told that it will have an integrated wireless speed controller.. on top of that it will be programmable through a handlebar mounted IiPhone or Itouch for torque, speed, all the bells and whistles.

I hope great things come from this nonstop emerging company that continues to pump out new and exciting products. E Biking is going to be the wave of the future for commuting

Oh ya, and scooters, please stay off the sidewalks.

No thank you, it's too dangerous to ride on the streets around here. I can't even walk across the street at a traffic light, having the right of way, without somebody trying to run me down in a vehicle.

It's trails and sidewalks for me and my family.

~Beverly in Mississauga

Do you really think that breaking the law by riding on the footpath will EVER gain you safety on the road?

However sidewalk riding is where many accidents occur. Drivers exiting and entering the roadway or clearing itnersections just don't check the sidewalk for bicycles(or pedestrians like you say), if you were involved in a collision while riding on the sidewalk or through the cross-walk the police could charge you.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive, try to stay off the sidewalks, never ride the wrong-way on a sidewalk. Especially stay off the sidewalks in subdivisions and residential areas... too many driveways and people backing out don't except somebody to be moving that quickly.

Enjoy the trails.

My test this forum number 2. trfekiol

How long have you been working for Ampedbikes?

I like feeling superior when riding my bike, I'm getting fit while I don't pollute. If all those drivers I'm passing can't tell how superior I really am, perhaps because they mistake me for a power assisted rider, then my enjoyment is reduced. So I don't think e-bikes should be allowed.

On second thoughts perhaps the big sweaty mark on my back will give them the clue.

Well Tom, your feelings and enjoyment are important... and likely won't have much of an effect on others behavior.
I am sure we all have our own reasons to ride, let us hope that those thoughts and attitudes don't translate into fatalities. Young, semi skilled cyclist's who get off by pedaling as hard as their little pumpers can go are likely to find their limits sooner than later.
As a veteran messenger, and pro cyclist, I have learned where to race and where to transit.

E-bikes are here. Any bike is capable of running electric motors, and as a result: the same sweat will propel you further, faster and with more stuff (like your groceries;) Passing huffing wind bags and cars will be easily done...With an effort, sustained speeds of in excess of 60km are possible. I would like to see you keep up with that.

No matter what anyone says, e-bikes are here, and they are only going to become more common. They are only as dangerous as the riders who pilot them.

The situation is dire in terms of liabilities. Cyclists and pedestrians are at risk when traveling the streets. Individuals injured in a cycle based accident (say like being hit by speedy cyclist flying thru a stop sign) have little recourse financially when faced with income loss and other expenses (like reconstructive surgery) After 20 years of riding these streets , they are not getting any safer. People's attitudes (drivers, bikers and peds) have changed very little. Toronto's citizens must take it upon themselves to create a safe and enjoyable place to ride. No amount of legislation will change what happens at street level. As it is, many , many cyclists in Toronto are operating unsafe bikes, in a way that is unsafe, in a place that is unsafe. Drivers act in much the same fashion. Now the e-bikes and the e-scooters are in the mix, I can only expect they will exhibit the same bad habits that all the others have. People are people so it seems, summer is as summer does.

Failing a severe and radical shift in general attitude, I am sure the will be no other choice for authorities other than to clamp down on vehicular traffic in general. Bike registration, licensing and insurance are the classic ways in which a government administers the right to drive. Why would bikes be any different?
Truly, as bikes and bike related injuries rise, based on the sheer number of vehicles and pedestrians in the city, riders can expect to have too license and insure themselves. Bikes will need to be inspected and registered. Bikes considered to be unsafe ( like track specific bikes without hand brakes, or old rust bucket's with nothing that works other than the wheels turn) will not be able to be registered or plated, just like the motor transport.

I guess there are other ways to solve the same issues, like forbearance, respect for others, and a generally pleasant demeanor. Perhaps that is too much to ask.

Have fun being superior, Tomw, and alive, for now.

I am often found "walking"along the sidewalks in downtown Toronto. I do this when I am riding with my family. We generally stick to the side streets and alleys. Every so often we find ourselves on the sidewalk. It is true, streets are dangerous. For the kids, they are less visible and easily missed in a mirror check. When we are on the sidewalk, we travel slowly, and stop at all crossings, driveways included. It is slow, and it is safe.

Other riders seem to think that high speed transiting can be done on the sidewalks, obviously this is very dangerous for the rider and others.

Cyclist's who feel it is too dangerous to travel on the street, should walk or take the bus. A proper route, with a safe and courteous, patient and often benevolent attitude are the only weapons we have to survive the daily ride.

In the burbs, there is alot of work to be done for transit cycling. Recreational paths are fine for fun, but not practical for transiting. Drivers are not used to seeing bikes, and therefore are not looking for you. Years ago riding in Toronto was similar, however, as the number of cyclist rose, car were putting bikers on their radar. After 15 years of street level cycling advocacy, our efforts have somewhat payed off. Drivers are more aware and cautious around us, but we still have a long way to go.

Cycling is an unsafe activity, like skiing, or motorcycling. Caution should be taken into account for ever ride. Fun can be had w/out being unsafe.

That's the way to take a thread south, electrorocket - call someone a fascist.

I was going to write this in private but I think I'll type out loud.
Glad to see your reply electrorocket. My post was written as satire, I guess this may not have come across.
I wanted to highlight the difference between the personal entitlement arguments that seem to be common in this thread and the more serious safety issues.
I agree that we must take it upon ourselves to create a safe and enjoyable place to ride. I think this probably comes down to common courtesy. It's probably not going to be helped by people doing 60Kph on their e-bikes.
I'm not actually against the use of e-bikes, I actually think that it has been very well argued that there is a place for them in the bike lanes. I'm more against people who think that being on a bike (e or otherwise) gives them the right to go as fast as they like, I'm thinking particularly of some of the displays of selfishness I regularly observe on the don valley multi-use trails.
I think that licencing non-assisted bikes is unnecessary, however I can see arguments for licencing e-bikes, especially 'souped up' varieties.
Anyway time to jump on my two wheels and take my life in my hands.

Ride safe,
Tom

Can anyone tell me how I go about getting a bike converted to lithium batteries? Anyone know who to call in Toronto?

The subject line says it all. He may be reached at:

(416) 934-9291

Tell him that Kevin Love recommended him.

e-bikes are not limited to 32Km/hr. the "law" states that the e-bike must not be able to self propel itself past 32km/hr without pedaling....There is a major difference. My e-bike is capable of speeds well in excess of 32km/hr, with me pedaling. Without pedaling that is impossible (except down hills). The motor, in combination with the effect of pedaling makes it easy for me to keep up with traffic, make safe and easy left turns from the "bike lane" and travel distances that would otherwise be very challenging. I often find myself dragging passengers and cargo (as I have a Kona Ute) with ease, something impossible without the motor.
welcome to the future!

Ok.. I've watched this forum over time.. an it's so sad to see the assumptions out there. I WAS an avid cyclist, bike racer, advocate, bike messenger, 4season rider NEVER drove a car.. (but was a passenger on several occasions - no I am NOT riding out to my races!)

Now the assumptions I USED to have are very much like many above.. "Get a BIke" I used to say to people waiting for transit... Get a Bike Fat Ass.. I use to think about all single drivers...

Then CANCER came into my life, wrecked the adductor in my left leg and left me with screaming nerve pain if I ever pushed a little too hard on my bikes... I was devastated.. had to make a choice about how to get around this city.

I hate the TTC for it's cost, lousy service and archaic rules.. (can't walk a block and get back on?) I bought a Scooter. A REAL scooter, that takes gas. WHY? Because riding in the fringe of traffic on a bike was stressful enough, riding an ebike even more so... and also.. unlike some ebikers out there, I haven't 'lost my license' to drinking and driving etc. Yes there ARE ebikers who ride these ONLY because they can not get a license, and could care less about the environment. (So before you ASSUME they are so environmental...)

NOW... Before we make any hasty JUDGEMENTS on why people ride or drive or pedal whatever they do.. TAKE A MOMENT to think that maybe circumstances beyond their control have forced them to choose how they remain mobile. Maybe they have a child with disabilities. Maybe their legs or feet are messed up. Maybe they went down one too many times on the blasted street car tracks and weren't willing to risk their lives anymore...

You have NO IDEA do you? Yet you judge. You could see me on my gas powered scooter and judge, even though I rode for over 20 years on a bike, and I eat green, and I buy second hand, don't 'consume' like many do.... But all you see is someone using gasoline.

Sad. Limited. Ignorant.

There are many cyclists out there who eat at McDonalds, contributing to the worlds most disgusting producer of waste... Cyclists who eat pre packaged food, meat from factory farms etc.. and there are many Car Drivers out there who reduce, re-use and recycle what little they have from their very aware low impact lifestyle choices.

WE ARE ALL CONTRIBUTING in some way to the good and the bad of Humanity.

LOOK AT YOURSELVES before judging everyone else with one glance and no knowledge of the circumstances.

Just BE the change YOU wish to see in the World, as Ghandi said so wisely.

People driving anything with a motor should need a license.

How else can we report that ass who keeps riding his ebike on the sidewalk... because he's legally allowed... (It's a "Bicycle" after all, and the wheels are less than 24")

The ebikes should be made powerful enough to ride with traffic. 50cc.
That would be awesome. It would get them out of the bike lanes.

They should be made to last and not made disposable and eventual landfill as they are now.

(ie) If I ride a Honda from the 70's (built to last) is that not more green than a plastic ebike made in China, shipped over here, to become landfill in 3 summer seasons?

Hmmmmmmm..... Its SO interesting to watch cyclists from the other side now.

pennyfarthing ok frye