January 14, 2010

Zwolle lends commuters electric bicycles

Filed under: Bicycles,General,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 2:50 pm

The city of Zwolle will start a 1 million euro trial this year to lend commuters electric bicycles, Z24 reports.

The bicycle is one of the most popular forms of transport in the Netherlands, but only for short trips of up to 5 kilometres. Zwolle hopes to raise this radius to about 15 kilometres for some by providing powered loaners.

Electric bikes are regular bicycles with an auxiliary motor that you choose to switch on for instance during a climb or when cycling in a strong head wind. Powered bicycles have existed for a long time in the form of mopeds with pedals, but these tended to look (and operate?) rather unwieldy. The new e-bike looks just like a regular bicycle, but with a small battery pack.

Slightly off topic, cycling awareness blog Amsterdamize (aimed, obviously, at non-Dutchies), recently had a very nice photo series on how the cold and the snow and the ice manage to stop cycling in Amsterdam, i.e. not.

(Photo of a Schwinn Tailwind Electric Assist bike by Richard Masoner, some rights reserved)

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