The Future of Commuting
I bought my electric bike, a Kalkhoff Pro-Connect after my motorcycle was stolen, and that's the angle I'd like to explore - electric bikes as an alternative to scooters and motorcycles for city commutes.
The public transport system in London is awful - years of under-investment have resulted in conditions which would result in an outcry, should they have to be endured by livestock. For some reason, otherwise intelligent and capable people put themselves through this awful experience every day of their working lives.
Some, like me, move away from public transport onto two wheels, riding motorcycles or scooters to work but then they encounter a number of other problems:
- Danger - the speeds scooters and motorbikes travel at means that accidents can very easily result in serious injury and that...
- Protective Equipment is required - at the very least a helmet but only the foolhardy ride without protective gear of some variety, which means they get hot and sweaty in summer, and have to find somewhere to store it and change at work.
- Parking - in central London parking a motorcycle is no longer free and the bays very rapidly fill up
- Costs - the inital cost of a cheap motorcycle can be comparable to that of a decent electric bike but the cost of fuel, insurance and tax means that they are hugely more expensive to run.
- Security - motorcycles get stolen. Just have a look at any motorbike forum and you'll read dozens of tales of woe. Electric bikes aren't nearly so nickable and most (like the Kalkhoff) have a specific charger, without which they are rendered practically useless.
I have to admit I don't love my electric bike in the same way I loved my motorcycle - it's not nearly so much fun. However, it has massively improved my quality of life and is the best investment I think I have ever made. I can't see any other solution to London's transport problems and am amazed at how few other electric bikes I see on the roads. Best of luck with your site.