The Electric Car Has Come of Age

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  • According to the linked Kickstarter this machine fulfills those requirements.

    Of course there might be a secret "turbo" switch in the mobile app interface some place :)
  • Oddly enough, I got my "20 mph" info from a pair of ebikers I encountered Thursday on a local trail. The trail is signed, "No motorized vehicles." So I wonder now whether "motor-assisted" and "motorized" are two different things. Frankly, I don't much care. Ebikes are quiet and don't really disturb us "real" bikers.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Seems that in many jurisdictions "motor-assisted" and "motorized" are indeed two different things in the eyes of the law.

    Of course "motorized" must have it's own special definition otherwise electric wheel chairs and such would require users to be licensed.

  • Motorized wheelchairs have speed limits (varies, the highest is, I think, 7km/h), which is why they don't have to be licensed.
  • There's wikipedia of course: (argh can't copypaste the link because the forum software doesn't use a textbox)











  • I'm very glad to hear that wheel chairs have speed limits!

    An old friend of mine used to get us beer at a crowded bar by ramming his electric wheel chair as fast as possible into the scrum. Worked a treat!

    I think what I was getting at is that lawmakers define their terms when writing up laws. So "motorized vehicle", for example, becomes something other than any kind of vehicle with any kind of motor drive.

  • As a longtime bicyclist, I view these electric bikes with mixed emotions. It's good that they are encouraging some people to get out there who wouldn't otherwise. But I also see them as accidents going somewhere to happen. Many of those people zipping along at 20+ MPH are noobs who lack the bike skills and road smarts to ride defensively. When drivers glance a "person of size" in street clothes coming toward them on a bike, they assume they are going slowly and pull out in front of them. I've seen several accidents just like that.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • A few years ago I was riding in a taxi in Amsterdam. Whist waiting at a red light I made some comment about all the thousands of bicycles on the roads there. The taxi driver went off on a rant about what a pain they were, how they did not stop at lights, or give way, and generally behaved as if the road was theirs.

    Just at that moment a girl on a bike smashed into our stationary taxi, breaking off one mirror. As if to demonstrate the driver's point.

    Since then, travelling around the world I have noticed that bike riders everywhere have these same kamikaze tendencies. Oblivious of the rules of the road, common courtesy or self preservation.

    I'm not sure electric bikes will make much difference.

    On the other hand, around here kids on mopeds and scooters below some capacity are allowed to ride on the bicycle ways. Which are often sharing space with pedestrians. They are a danger to cyclists and pedestrians alike.

  • Yep, 'locals' in cities tend to ignore red lights and just about everything else. I never understood that attitude. I've never had problems following normal traffic regulations when biking. I watch the lights, I follow the rules (incidentally exactly the same as for cars, in Norway), and I walk the bike across pedestrian crossings. I can't see what on earth there is to gain by biking like an imbecile in traffic.
  • Tor wrote: »
    Motorized wheelchairs have speed limits (varies, the highest is, I think, 7km/h), which is why they don't have to be licensed.

    This poor fellow went 50 MPH in his motorized wheelchair. For 5 miles. Against his will. Pushed by a truck. A miracle his chair didn't fail.



    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • This country boy is buying a 2014 Leaf tomorrow after a long search and many test drives. By an odd coincidence, the car I'm buying was first sold in Georgia, a country mile from my home state of South Carolina.

    I was surprised to learn that 99% of the used Leafs in Los Angeles come from auctions. They go straight to auction after coming off lease. Even ones sold at Nissan dealers came from auction. That's weird, wild stuff.

    Of course there are numerous forums for EV drivers and Leaf owners. Everyone warns that new EV owners struggle with "range anxiety", living in fear and wondering if the car has enough power to get to the destination. But I have a secret weapon: my '67 Corvair. That was my first car, with a wonderfully spotty reliability record. From the very start of my driving career, I was conditioned to wonder where & when my car would stop. Blown head gaskets, dropped valve seats, what have you. Every mile of proper operation was appreciated! At least the Leaf has big giant gauges, indicating exactly where & when the car will stop. Hardly even exciting in my book.

    Lots of new EVs coming out, tech is improving and cost & range are improving. For me, this is a cheap local commuter/runabout and a good introduction to the EV world. The battery still has all 12 bars, meaning it hasn't deteriorated very much.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Here in NYC, the city government is imposing stronger rules concerning those dratted electric drive assisted bikes. It seems that they ignore all traffic rules. In fact I see them here in Astoria, being used for food delivery. However my favorite place had its website stop accepting orders so I'm more concerned how the new rules will effect them.

    As for the Nissan Leaf you're buying erco, it is a good car. But if I had my drivers license, I'd opt for an EV conversion for a particular model GMC van......
  • People who have "range anxiety" have never had to depend on good old British motorcycles, Triumph, BSA, Norton etc, or the wonders of the Lucas electrical systems in good old British cars.

    I have no sympathy.

  • erco wrote: »
    I was surprised to learn that 99% of the used Leafs in Los Angeles come from auctions. They go straight to auction after coming off lease. Even ones sold at Nissan dealers came from auction. That's weird, wild stuff.

    Many used cars are purchased by dealers at auction. Even if a dealer takes the car as a trade-in, they'll often resell it through an auction dealer. These days only specific models of trade-ins, in top shape, are retained by a dealer for resale. A few years back my father bought a used Honda Fit that was a lease turn-in. The dealer bought it at auction, even though they are a huge Honda dealership, and get plenty of them in trade.

    I'm not sure how big used-car dealers like Carmax work. I think they offer a mix of outright bought cars (we sold that Fit to them), trade-ins, and auction bought.

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