Cars aren’t the only electric mode that is expanding with new technology. Bicycles are increasingly going electric too, according to NPR.
Outside the U.S., motorcycles, mopeds and scooters are popular, affordable forms of transportation that help to reduce congestion. They run on fossil fuels and can be more polluting than regular cars with more efficient engines.
In the U.S., two-wheeled vehicles have mostly been for recreation. But with battery technology improving and congestion growing, some startups are producing cheaper and greener mopeds, scooters and motorized bikes. Which is good news for people with injuries or heart conditions who haven’t been able to ride bicycles in the past or only on flat surfaces. They also come in all shapes and sizes, including tricycles and recumbent bikes, with the majority of buyers being over 45 years old.
That has changed though with startups in California and Oregon targeting Gen X and millennial consumers looking for something between a bike and a car that’s less polluting. URB-E is a foldable scooter built in California aimed at reducing traffic congestion. It’s not meant to replace cars or public transit but for trips to the grocery store or home from the bus or train station. Others, including Oregon E-bikes — headquartered in Hood River, Ore. — say electric bikes and other non-car alternatives could take over for motorized wheelchairs for people with mobility issues in the future.