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Have fun with this Hugh. We saw a few similar units the last time we were in Europe - don't sneak up on people ;) . In Europe a lot of people also use battery assisted bicycles. Basically a heavy bike with a battery pack (which can be taken out and you can have a second battery just like your home drill). The good thing about the battery assisted bikes is that you can pedal them if/when the battery runs out of juice, or when you want some exercise.
 

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This bike is significantly larger and heavier than your standard electric bike. Think moped rather than bicycle.

Although it has pedals, which can be removed, you would never want to pedal this bike since the pedals are a bit difficult to get to and you will likely have them removed since the pedals continue to move when you are riding.

I sat on the bike and checked it out yesterday. Test drive comes tomorrow.
 

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I sincerely hope people don't start slowing down traffic with these things, or else I'll have to put my bull bars to good use lol...
 

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I've done a bit of research on this and found the following on the MTO site

This page answers FAQ about the three-year Power-Assisted Bicycle ("e-bike") Pilot Test currently taking place in Ontario

Ominously I found another page which states

NOTE: A commitment has been made to evaluate the pilot prior to its three-year expiry. The intent of the ministry’s pilot was to allow e-bikes that look and operate like conventional bikes in order to promote a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to current transportation modes.

The ministry has become aware of scooter-style vehicles that technically meet the pilot’s e-bike definition, but not the intent, as they are not primarily operated by muscular power due to their heavy weight. Therefore, in addition to evaluating how safely the e-bike can integrate with other motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, the emergence of the scooter-style e-bikes requires the ministry to also assess if the pilot’s original intent continues to be appropriate. The ministry may clarify its position on the original intent of the pilot when final legislation is drafted.
Essentially, I read it that ebikes like the Ecoped may be not be considered an eBike at the end of the pilot.

It certainly
 

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I've seen some places opening up in our city selling these.

The main problem I see is that they look like scooters, but essentially they are in the same class as a bicycle. Their top speed is slow enough that they can't really be out in the flow of traffic, but they occupy more of a lane than a regular bike would. Motorists may have an expectation of speed and handling based on it looking like a scooter.

Warning - do NOT remove the pedals from these, that's one of the things that qualifies them as e-bikes...at least for now.

I think I would rather have an e-bike that looks like a bike, or a proper scooter rather than something in-between.
 

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I actually saw one of these during my run this evening (or something very similar).

...the pedals continue to move when you are riding.
The pedals were not turning on the one I saw. I'm sure there must be a way to disconnect the pedals from the drive (without removing) since rotating pedals would be a safety hazard. We look forward to your review.
 

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If they are anything like mopeds the pedals only turn if you actually turn them yourself as you drive or from a stop. There is an overrunning clutch on them so they only engage the rear wheel if you pedal faster than the motor is pushing you along.
 

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Not so wide as you think

These actually do not take up more lane space than a bike.
Sure you can't stack them as tight in the garage or on a bike rack, but the widest part of both a regular bike and an e-bike is the handle bars and mirrors.
No matter how narrow the rest of the bike is, passing vehicles, even skinny bikes need to take the width of handlebars into consideration, and that width is the same on both styles of bicycles.
 

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I took a ride yesterday and the pedals don't turn. I will record my impressions in a separate thread since this one seems to be getting off topic with discussions of ebikes in general.
 

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Did I miss the report? Interestingly, I've seen a number of e-bikes since you posted - either there are more of them, or I just notice them because they're in my mind.

I also saw someone peddling something that looked like the Ecoped up a hill the other day (A scooter-like look, not a bike-type look).
 

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No you did not miss it, I just never got the time.

In a nutshell.

Positives:
  • Attractive looking ebike
  • Fun to ride
  • Very quiet and moved quite quickly. I did not feel like I had to use it a full speed.

I think this could be a lot of fun for 16 to 18 year olds who can't drive but want to get to high school everyday or around the neighbourhood.


Negatives

  • Storage containers too small - can't actually fit binders and books!
  • lead acid batteries - new ebikes with li-ion batteries coming but expensive
  • Batteries are heavy and must be removed in order to recharge - can't just plug into the wall with a cord
  • May not be allowed by MTO
  • Illegal to carry a passenger

In reading through the MTO site, I get the impression that these bikes will not be considered ebikes by the government and therefore it throws into question their viability.

Overall, I liked the ecoped but for various reasons, I just can't see it being a winner.

To be a winner, it needs government approval, li-ion batteries, plug in capabilities, and more storage
 

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Pedaling 87kg or almost 190lbs requires a pretty big effort. My hybrid along with my two young kids and a trailer don't come close to that (50kg) and it is quite a workout. I can't imagine the pedals would extend your range by more than a km or two. Plus the typical user of this ebike is likely not in the best of shape either. At least that is my experience from seeing and passing ebikers on the road now that the NCC has banned them from the pathways.
 

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1. Storage containers too small - can't actually fit binders and books!
2. lead acid batteries - new ebikes with li-ion batteries coming but expensive
3. Batteries are heavy and must be removed in order to recharge - can't just plug into the wall with a cord
4. May not be allowed by MTO
5. Illegal to carry a passenger
1. Should be easy to supply a larger optional container.
2. Optional batteries not a bad idea, but perhaps not needed?
3. That one is dumb. I would have expected "plug in".
4. This is definitely a biggie.
5. The photo on your website (post 1 link) sure looks like it has the room.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Ontario laws and most provinces make it illegal to ride "double" on a bike therefore the law also applies to ebikes.
 

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Ecoped Trial

Just some humble feedback and observations. :)

I have been environmental friendly for a number of years. I have owned an Insight Honda for over 8 years.
I also have a motorcycle and my wife has a larger scooter.

On a shopping trip to Sam's Club about 4 weeks ago I picked up an Ecoped because of the low acquisitions cost and specifications - 60 KM range on single charge, no insurance, no motorcycle helmut, resonalble speed - 32km/hr.

I perceived on weak point at that time - max number of charges before a battery replacement a cost or replacement battery (200-300 charges and cost of replacement about $250).

My wife and I are having a blast with this machine. I have taken it to work from Pickering to Markham (30 km one way) and instead of 50 minutes using car in stop and go traffic it took 60 minutes - ten minutes extra without a lot of stress. I did not charge it a work to see if I could get back home and it made it.
My wife uses it to go to Tim Hortons about 6 (round trip) kms from home and I use it to get to church meetings 7 km (round trip) and to school meetings.

It is a joy to ride and not intimidating. Quiet and smooth. We have used it every day since we got it. When cars are lined up you can zip along beside them in the bicycle lane.

My wife likes it because she doesn't need to get special clothing on when riding and the bicycle helmet doesn't flatten (just like a women) her hair like the motorcycle helmet. She uses it more then her scooter (Yamah Majesty - 400)

It may be argued that a bicycle would be better to go to work with for me but I don't want to arrive all sweaty and have to shower when I get there.


Some observations
Space required in bicycle lanes
- same as a bicycle
- width of handle bars and your body on a bicycle. In fact it might be argued that the ecoped provides some protection against cars hitting you directly because the ecoped will take the hit before your body.

Comfort
- more comfortable then a bicycle - larger seat.
- wind protection for lower part of your body
- shocks front and read to absorb bumps

Cost
Battery
- Low cost LiFePod battery up to 3000 charges at 85% capacity for about $500 - addresses cost of replacement battery
- should last at least 10 years at about $.15 per recharge - may even provide more recharges but with lower capacity
- cruise distance on new battery should be about 80 km when new - to be verified - I have one ordered

Distance
- can be recharged in 4 to 6 hours
- could recharge while at work
- almost as fast a car in city driving
- charge come at no extra cost and can be carried under seat
(note - charge plugs directly into ecoped without removing battery and directly into standard home electrical outlet)

Comparison cost to other Ebikes of this type scooter type
- lowest cost with a strong engine and good looks (my opinion)

Requires more long term testing to see how well all parts of the ecoped hold up over time and use. I will provide feedback over time.

Storage Space
- better then any bicycle or ebike made from a bicycle
- can use space between legs for extra storage
- can acquire or build a larger rear storage in future


Major Issues
1. Cars providing room in bicycle lane on road - even when there is enough room to accommodate bicycle and car on the same side of road.
There are some road in Toronto that have actually marked part of road for bicycle - we will need more of these.
Some drivers do not want to share the road and will purposely cut you off. I believe this is the major safely concern with this type of transportation. You can control other drivers and their decisions could end up ending your life.

2. Ecoped riders on this type of scooter should ''not" be allowed on bicycle paths but should use paved roads.
Two reasons
- ecoped not build for this type of riding -tight on the ecoped and in manual they suggest sticking to pavement
- considerations for other bicycles and pedestrians using these paths

3. Ontario Legislation making them legal
If they are abused during the trial period then they may not qualify for an ebike because of negative feedback
- abuse includes - riding on trails, riding on side walk, under age riding, breaking the rules of the road
- accidents on paths or on road for what ever reason

I believe they should be legalized as they are during the test period - we need an alternative low cost, safe and environmentally friendly alternative

4. Support
Supplier will have to setup more service depots and parts distribution at a reasonable cost to satisfy customer needs. With options to upgrade battery, storage area, maybe a cup holder.
Keep cost for replacments parts - wheels, mirrors, shocks, battery - reasonable pricing (not over priced like most car part)

5. Wish List
Things that I would change in ecoped and options I would like to see and would pay more money for
- battery upgrade
- storage in back with option for a small pet transport type of box
- cup hold in front
- cup holder for multiple coffees in current storage box

If you have had some experience on an ecoped - I would love to hear it.
 

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Climbing BC Hills

Things were so much easier in Ontario back in '74 [*sighing as my age starts to show*]

When mopeds first came out, you only had to be 14 years old to ride them. To tell the truth, if I could ever find the same Peugeot moped I had back then, I would buy it in a heartbeat: 200mpg (I put on over 3000 miles [5000 km] a month on it), rode it throughout the winter snowstorms, and it usually ran about 45mph [unmodified] -- I hit 60mph with a good tailwind one day. It handled like a charm, and was great in traffic...

Oh well, times change.

I did, however, buy an eBike (I live in BC now), and it's doing a great job getting me back and forth to work. Not as fast as my old moped -- my ebike does just the speed limit allowed [32kmh] -- but the biggest relief was that it seems to handle the BC hills here pretty well. Most hills it climbs on its own at a pretty steady 25kmh, though it slows to 15kmh on the really steep climbs.

I added a full size motorcycle case to the back [tons of room], plus the under seat storage holds my charger, toolkit, extension cord, stereo, accessories, and large thermos: I need my morning coffee when I get to work.

I also added rear lighting strips along the back end (wired into my running lights), and some flashing led brake lights for better road visibility by drivers. I find drivers now give me way more road space than before I put the extra lights on.

I'm only putting on 600-700km a month travel on the bike so far, but the single charge seems to be holding out pretty strong at about 70-80km runs that I've done [with running lights on].

Price wise, the gas we've saved in just the first month means the bike will pay for itself pretty quickly.
 

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What type of ebike?

What brand of ebike did you get? What is the engine size, Amp hours of battery, 24v, 36v or 49v engine.
I like the idea of flashing tail lights - this sounds like a good option..
I would like a built in cup holder for coffee and a tray option for trunk
for holding additional coffee's to bring home.

How many charges on your battery? Is it LiFePO4 or lead?

The old mopeds sounded great! Now you need insurance, motorcycle license, and helmet. Things have changed.
 

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I'm not overly tech savvy when it comes to mechanics, but...

What brand of ebike did you get? What is the engine size, Amp hours of battery, 24v, 36v or 49v engine.
It's a Veloteq Commander Sho-GT:
48V/20Ah (4 x 12v/20AH Valve Regulated Absorbed Glass Mat)
500W BLDC gear reduction motor, 400rpm Highest Idle
controller rated at 750W


I like the idea of flashing tail lights - this sounds like a good option.
They've been a huge safety help. When I have to cross over lanes of traffic (eg: crossing past major highway on-ramps), I usually brake and wait for traffic to clear.

Before the flashing brake lights, drivers just wizzed past (almost oblivious to me braking or even slowing down).

Since the brake lights, I see them slowing down and even shifting over as they approach -- actually checking to see if I'm going to cross without seeing them, or whether it's safe to pass me. I've noticed they actually pay attention to me on the road now. It's definitely made my nerves a lot easier.


I would like a built in cup holder for coffee and a tray option for trunk
for holding additional coffee's to bring home.
*lmao* I actually keep a large thermos of coffee under my seat (for when I get to work). With the large carrier I mounted on the back, I can even carry the giant cup of coffee everybody at work teases me about: It holds a pot and a half of coffee (and it's too big to fit in a microwave).

Before I added the rear carrier, I did use the hanging hook (on the front of the bike, right in front of the seat) to carry 8 bags of groceries -- I was relieved that it didn't make riding awkward at all. With the back case though, I couldn't see doing without it now: I've loaded it completely a few times.


How many charges on your battery? Is it LiFePO4 or lead?
I charge it whenever I get home. No idea about specs or such, but I found out that recharging before it was completely discharged seems to increase the life 4-6x longer.

I know old batteries were best depleted before a charge (they had a memory charge if only partially depleted). I ran the bike about 55 km last week (all lights on, including headlight hi-beams), and the bike still had about 76% charge left -- though it did drop whenever I needed to climb the steep hills. Whenever I got back to more level roads [or even shallower uphill climbs], the bike still had plenty of charge left (went right back up to about where it left off).

I've never actually depleted it fully, so I have no idea how far the bike could go fully -- if it's fairly flat terrain, the thing just seems to go on forever.


The old mopeds sounded great! Now you need insurance, motorcycle license, and helmet. Things have changed.
They did require a license and insurance about two years after I had the bike -- was super cheap. About $68/yr insurance back then [with max coverage], and it was $10 or $15/yr for license. I always wore a full helmet even when I first got the bike. I rode it everywhere (even off-road).



NOTE: I actually lucked out with the added lights... I work at the company that carries them (I'm just their computer geek in the back room). Computers I can rebuild blindfolded, but I'm completely hopeless with anything mechanical. The guys in the front saw me eyeing the lights everytime I went into the warehouse, so they came to my rescued and grabbed some, and popped them on for me.

I can't believe the difference it's made with motorists. I would definitely recommend anybody with an ebike should add the additional brake lights, and some rear side lights -- regardless of what brand(s) they want to use. I'm almost kicking myself for not having put extra lights on the bike when I first bought it. I just never thought it would make that big a difference when riding.
 
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