The Time for a Pedelec is Now
The attention the electric car receives as a promising means of sustainable transportation seems at times to overshadow the rise of another electric vehicle: the power assisted bicycle or pedelec. For those who don’t know yet: a pedelec is a bicycle assisted by an electric motor, powered by a rechargeable (lithium-ion) battery. The motor is intended to assist pedalling, not replace it. It is the newest evolution of the bicycle and its numbers are starting to grow.
The motor multiplies a persons muscle power, which assists you while riding. The assistance level can be increased or decrease by the rider, increasing the level of assistance decreases the range of the bike and decreasing the assistance, increases the range. When the person faces increased resistance by wind or hilly terrain the motor output can be adjusted to work harder to compensate for it. This allows the rider to determine the level of effort they what to put out despite the terrain or weather conditions.
People living in cities or rural areas with steep height differences will benefit from pedelecs, riding up hill using a pedelec requires only slightly more effort as riding on a regular street. Because of the increased average speeds, pedelecs allow riders to bridge longer distances. As a result studies have found pedelecs tend to get used more often, rather than left gathering cobwebs in the garage like many standard bicycles.
Combined with a cycle trailer, they can easily help tow the weekly groceries for a large family. Pedelecs do not simply replace regular bicycles, they will change the way bicycles are used and have a significant impact in the way people move around on two wheels.