“Green” bikes and scooters have been showing up more than usualy in the news, probably with Vectrix making a splash in Milan, everyone else thought they better get their PR in motion. Here are a few we noticed:
- BusinessWeek reports on the ENV fuel-cell prototype. It’s handsome and full of neat ideas, but a quick read of the comments will show you what the makers of fuel-cell vehicles are up against (mainly, an ignorant public, and the expense of fuel-cell technology).
- Pasadena, CA e-bike and Go-Ped retailer UrbanScooters.com has announced their offices are now “carbon-neutral,” which sounds nice even though they seem to be selling mostly Chinese electric scooters and some 2-stroke Go-Peds. I guess even a nominal commitment to the environment sets them apart from the other thousand online retailers of electric bikes, the site seems more professional and organized than most online stores selling similar products.
- ShinyShiny reports on the new eGo Helio electric bike. Through a long, strange set of coincidences, we acquired a prototype of eGo’s first model at my day job a few years ago. It’s pretty well-made, but after riding a scooter, it’s not very exhilarating to crawl along with caliper brakes and no suspension. Every time I’ve ridden it, I’ve though a regular bicycle would be faster and more useful (and about 100 lbs lighter). That said, the newer model is prettier and more powerful, and might be worth checking out.
Electric vehicles, while technically emissions-free, generally use power generated by fossil fuels, but until better technology become affordable, the Vectrix seems to be rising above most alternate-fuel vehicles, at least in media attention. Whether that’s the result of a good PR team or a good product will be clear when they go on sale, allegedly soon. Other manufacturers’ experiments with fuel cell, electric, CNG, biodiesel, and hybrid vehicles are a good sign there’s a market and a future for green bikes, but Vectrix looks to be the first large-scale test of their commercial viability.