Before my wife decided she wanted an electric car, she had several electric bikes, starting with the venerable but extinct EV Warrior, back in 1996. It was the brainchild of Malcolm Bricklin and was sold out of the showroom by the local Cadillac dealer. I think it cost us $1300 back then. It weighed a ton and had two 12V lead-acid batteries and a drum-drive friction motor turning the back tire. Needless to say, this was nearly useless in wet conditions, which fortunately are rare around here. I outfitted it with baskets and saddlebags, and she did nearly all of her shopping around town with it for many years.
When it finally broke down in the mid-2000s, she bought two Synergy Cycle bikes and kept one at work for getting around campus, and one at home for shopping. This bike was a huge improvement over the EV Warrior, but still a heavy dog, with full suspension, 12V LA batteries, and an external geared hub motor w/ chain drive to the rear wheel, w/thumb throttle. I put front and rear baskets on it as well, with saddlebags on the rack under the rear basket, and she could carry about 5 bags of groceries home in it (and often did) up until this last month, when it finally gave up the ghost. These bikes were built in China and sold out of a shop in Santa Cruz, CA, for about $700 each, shipped.
Last week, she went out and bought an e-JOE bike with LI battery, pedal-assist, e-throttle, disk brakes, etc., and it is a really cool bike, a huge improvement over the earlier ones--lighter, stronger, smoother, faster, more range, etc. It's an Anggun 2.0
, from Willy Suwandy in San Marcos, CA. He has some nice folding bikes, too, if anyone is interested in those. This was a demo model, so she got it for $1500. She's got me thinking about one now, but I'm still pedaling my old $50 customized Raleigh Citysport 12-speed. I fitted her old rear basket and saddlebags to it, but no front basket for now. She has always decorated all her bikes (and her helmet) with artificial flowers, and is notorious around town as "the flower lady" to all the kids who see her riding by.
La Jolla, CAPlowshare Media
2011 SLe #1317 del. 4/1/11
1st bar lost at 31,953 miles
2nd bar lost at 38,685 miles
3rd bar lost at 50,711 miles
4th bar lost at 59,758 miles after 64 months
Battery replaced at 61,307 miles.