As Seattle evolves as a world class bicycle city people are unable to use safety as an excuse not to ride two wheel transportation. In Seattle however there is another excuse that is very commonly referred to is THE HILLS!
Well, use that excuse no more. As electric bikes evolve into real everyday transportation the hills have gotten a lot easier. You may, in fact, find yourself passing up those racer bike riders with their more expensive bikes and clothing.
As stated above, electric bikes are in a period of evolution. The modern electric bicycle has been available to the public for about ten years. During that time that electric systems have gone from barely helpful 24 volt, 250 watt systems to very helpful 52 volt, 1700 watt systems. The electric bicycle like the standard bicycle has the same freedom of regulations. The electric bike power is subject to regulations however starting with the wattage maximum at 1,000 watts and speeds unassisted by the motor at 20 mph.
Because of the Seattle hills an E Bike that is to be used as a car replacement needs to have sufficient wattage to make the system handle the hills and not overwork, leading to early wear. This class of electric bike is class 3 model and will have a minimum of 48 volts with 350 watts. The more watts you have the less the system has to work to get up our hills.
The need for power will very with the size of the rider or the E Bikes cargo loads. These two factors also determine the range of the bike per each charge. The battery is the heart of the system and is rated on voltage and amp hours. The more amp hours the more range you will have. All the systems have multiple choices of power outputs. The higher the power selection the more power you will have but the range will come down as well.
The price range on Electric Bicycles is from 2,000 to 5,000 dollars or the price of a used car that needs a lot of expensive work. With the E Bike however you will get exercise, make it to your destination refreshed and be able to get around any congestion. Next time you are stuck in traffic remember that.