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Monday, August 15, 2011

Electric Bike Sales Take Off Overseas

Electric bicycles in a store in China. (flickr / Augapfel)

Electric bicycles in a store in China. (flickr / Augapfel)

Electric bikes seem to be taking the world by storm. The car company, Daimler AG, recently announced it would start manufacturing electric bikes. In China, 120 million electric bikes are on the road. And in Europe, the number of electric bikers is up to one million. Sales in the United States, however, remain under 100,000 a year.

The bikes have a battery and a motor. In one common model, the motor kicks in to provide an assist on challenging terrain. Another model runs more as a scooter — no pedaling necessary — and is particularly popular in some of China’s cities.

While bulkier than your average bicycle, Frank Jamerson of the Electric Bikes Worldwide Report says that electric bikes are ideal for riders of all ages and best for short commutes.

Guest:

  • Frank Jamerson, Electric Bicycle Company and author and publisher of Electric Bikes Worldwide Report

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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