June 1, 2013


The other electric vehicle: Pedego's battery-powered bicycle (Peter Pae, May 31, 2013, LA Times)

Like most everyone who has bought a Pedego, I had to get over some sticker shock. The Dutch-style city commuter I rode was nicely built, with top-notch components, but $2,500 for a bicycle? (Other Pedego models range from $2,000 to $3,000.)

But then I started thinking of all the money I could save if I used this thing to commute. I could dump my car -- that's about $3,000 a year in gas, insurance, maintenance and registration, not to mention the lump sum from selling the vehicle. And there's no need for new insurance or a license, as with a scootor.

It's still a bicycle after all, which meant I could cruise the extensive bike trails and lanes in Irvine. And with the electric motor helping me out, hills or headwinds would be a breeze.

It turned out to be a no-brainer. With a combination of pedal-assist and electric throttle, I could go anywhere with ease. 

In pedal-assist, the electric motor adds a little juice to your pedaling. That's handy for a middle-aged man like me who wants to get a little exercise -- or at least pretend to -- without too much exertion. I initially pedaled with the setting at "5" -- meaning the electric motor at full power -- which required little effort beyond moving my legs up and down. After several days, I gradually reduced the setting to "2" and got a little exercise. Now, I sometimes pedal with the motor off completely.

The Pedago costs next to nothing to operate -- about $2.50 a month on my electricity bill. A full recharge takes four to five hours using the regular household AC plug and gives the bike a range of about 25-50 miles depending on weight, terrain, and how much of the electrical power I use. I usually plug in the charger before I go to sleep so Edison charges me a lower night-time rate. 

Bottom line: The bike would pay for itself in about 10 months...

Posted by at June 1, 2013 7:24 AM

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