Two days ago, I was biking along the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Georgetown when along the way I stopped in at my buddy's workplace, Big Wheel Bikes. There I saw the hybrid electric bike. This new age bike can use battery power or manual pedaling to get from point A to point B. I took it for a spin myself, and found it was quite fun. You would be surprised to find that it has quite the get up as well with no manual input. Its battery has a range of 15-22 miles per charge with top speeds of 20 MPH. The battery can be charged by taking it off the bike and plugging the battery in at home or at work. A basic hybrid bike costs about 1400 dollars. For me, the college kid who is about to enter the real life in a year, my eyes lit up. This is a great alternative to a car which would set be back at least around 10,000 dollars. The up keep costs include a bike tune up about every year or two and charging the battery at home. A car costs approximately .91$ per 10 miles while the electric bike costs .02$ per 10 miles. The bike also does not need insurance or a license and registration to drive. The bike saves thousands of dollars in up front costs, and hundreds if not thousands per year after that in upkeep and costs for fuel. If you live close to work and have bike paths between work and home, the electric bike would provides a great alternative to a car trip. It is fun, saves money on gas, and saves green house gases as well. In all, the bike seems like a great green investment that will have paybacks for years.
Here is a basic hybrid bike which is priced at 1399$ and has all the features listed above. If you are looking for a longer range option with a higher price tag, here is another bike with a range of 35 miles per charge and that can go 20+ MPH that costs 3499. Still, both options are greener than the new electric car at around 1/10th the price and even the most expensive bikes are 1/5th the cost of a new, traditional gas car.