The electric bike revolution
The Mayor of London is encouraging the use of e-bikes but often city councils dismiss the value of this new technology and TfL has launched its ebikes.london platform to pair up those looking to purchase these cycles with the retailers.
Behind TfL's effort is the notion that ebikes will encourage those who would never consider cycling but others think it is 'cheating' and in programmes where the health of a city's population is a concern, of little value. Although they have to admit that using an electric bike is cheaper and faster way to get to work than in a car and obviously not polluting!
Electric bikes have taken off in New York City, where so many parks enable safe cycling but it is also noted that building the cohesion of a community, where people stop to chat, is a loss. Pedestrians still do not come first.
The Financial Times has written about the new regulations that are being proposed across US cities as electric scooter rental start-ups mushroom, aiming to place a cap on the number of scooters a single company can operate and tame the number of 'dockless' two-wheelers. In San Francisco, the Department of Public Works 'has impounded more than 300 scooters because they were parked illegally over four days of street sweeps', says FT writer Tim Bradshaw.
Back in the UK, it seems that as usual, the British are lagging behind the Dutch in their take up of ebikes. The Dutch firm, Van Moof, are reporting uptake of sales in Berlin, Tokyo and Taipei among other cities, to prove that Amsterdam no longer has to be 'the cycling capital of the world. High on style and longer lasting - to fight today's obsession with 'the disposable', the built in theft defense system is an encouragement to all those who have spent significant sums on a bike only to find it disappear into the crowds.