25 July, 2011
I haven't covered much distance lately, it's been raining almost every day (wettest July in 60 years and we're only 2/3 through it) and call me slack, but I drive the car in the rain.
I've just changed offices at work and I'm in a new building with 500 new people, who all want to know about the electric bike. So I'm answering all the same questions again. What does it cost, what's the range how long does it take to recharge. Again I tell them that it does about 30km riding like your hair is on fire but I've got 72km out of it riding carefully. Again I get the stunned look. What possible use is a bike that can only do 30km. I tell them that I charge the bike whenever I'm not sitting on it, so range is never an issue. No-one ever believes me... “there are petrol stations everywhere, but there's no where to recharge”. I tell them: “mate, there are far more places to recharge than there are petrol stations. Every petrol station has a power point and you've got four places to recharge on your desk right in front of you” More disbelief...
Ok, so here's a typical day.
I ride to work, 5km and plug in.
3 hours later at lunchtime I get on the fully charged bike and ride home for lunch (saving 12 dollars on take away prices) and plug in.
After 45 minutes lunch I get on the fully charged bike and ride back to work.
3 hours later I get on the fully charged bike, ride home and plug in. I have a shower and get dressed in casual clothes then I get on the fully charged bike and ride to the shopping centre 10km away to buy fresh food for dinner. They won't let me recharge, so I shop and ride home. The bike is now about 1/2 discharged. When I get home I plug in and prep for dinner.
Then I get a call from a friend, “do I want to game?” Sure I want to game, so I hop on the nearly charged bike and go 5 km to his place and plug in.
We game for 2 hours then I hop on the fully charged bike and go home to plug in and finish cooking dinner.
I realise that I've forgotten an ingredient. I hop on the fully charged bike and ride back into town for the second time, then home. The bike is now half discharged so I plug in.
Notice I've ridden 70km of errands around town, the bike has never dropped below half charged and I've been able to ride fast the whole time, never sparing the bike to eke out a bit more range. If I did that two days in a row on a petrol bike I'd need to take 1/2 an hour out of my day at some point to ride to the petrol station and fill up. Instead I've plugged in and unplugged the bike about 10 times, and that's taken me less time than warming the petrol bike just once. I've saved lunch money and I always warm a petrol bike for 3 minutes before I ride it so I've saved plenty of time that way too.
Yet I still explain every day that range simply isn't an issue and every day I get the same disbelieving looks...
Posted by Jason at 1:19 AM