Electric bikes – combining pedal and engine power for an easy commute

By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

People going green are turning to gasoline-electric hybrid automobiles like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight or any number of hybrids offered by General Motors for transportation. But folks really serious about saving gasoline and money will want to consider the latest alternatives to gasoline – electric hybrids – sweat-electric hybrids.

The latest generation of electric-hybrid bicycles is arriving at a bike shop near you. Major bicycle makers Giant and Schwinn (who can forget the Stingray?) have recently introduced cutting-edge hybrid bikes that seamlessly harness battery power and pedal power, making biking to work easy as the breeze in your hair.

The new offerings from the bike big boys promise to nudge so-called e-bikes from the eddy of the eccentric into the mainstream. E-Bike sales in the US are projected to hit 220,000 units in 2009, up 83 percent from 2007 sales, according to the Electric Bikes Worldwide Report, 2008 Update. In Europe, sales this year are expected to hit 750,000 – three times 2007 sales.

“We’re seeing huge growth,” says Pantea Mavaddat, marketing director of Currie Technologies, maker of the Izip line of hybrid bikes.

Biking Buckeyes and the greening of the heartland

By Barbara Kessler

Columbus, Ohio. It’s not the first place you think of when green cities come to mind. Or the second or the third.

Indeed, there’s a whole string of burgs more strongly associated with sustainability. There’s Boulder with its rock solid commitment to community gardens, organic food mecca Eugene and all wind-powered Austin. The U.S. has many traditional pockets of non-tradition paying daily homage to the green spirit.

But now here comes Columbus — and Little Rock, and Raleigh, and Sioux Falls. These regular-folks towns are getting their green groove on too. They’re setting up sustainability offices, buying biodiesel buses, hosting solar car events and designing new bike lanes.