Alternative fuel vehicles are here to stay. They’re not a trend. They’re a solution. They’re a cost solution and an environmental solution. Do the math. A lightweight and low-power EV (Electric Vehicle) like an electric bike that runs on a lithium ion battery costs less than 0.2¢ per kilometre to operate – with zero emissions. City driving in most late model cars average 12.9¢ per kilometre with emissions in the range of 210 to 400 grams of CO2 for every kilometre travelled. What’s more, electric bikes travel at speeds up-to 32 kilometres per hour and can last up-to 100 kilometres between charges. They’re built for people on the go. “The push to electric started in China in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” explained Mike Clyde, Owner of Pedego Canada in Nelson, British Columbia. “It quickly became popular, in part because the Chinese government saw electric bikes as an efficient solution to overcrowded roads and pollution at the same time. With that kind of top-down backing in China, electric bikes saw sales that ranged in the hundreds of thousands in the first year to sales that now range in the hundreds of millions. In Europe,
electric bike sales make up between 10 and 20 percent of total bike sales – depending on which country you’re talking about – but we still have a lot of growing to do in North America.” Clyde estimates that electric bikes account for only one percent of total sales in the American and Canadian markets. But that’s beginning to change.
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS • NOVEMBER 2016
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