The electric bike, or some close variant of it, is likely a sleeping economic giant for the U.S. market. In China, a nation whose rapid ascent into industrialized production supremacy came at the cost of considerable air pollution and urban crowding, electric bikes have already achieved mass adoption. Due somewhat in part to state-backed expansion efforts and the cost cutting nature of proximity to the production source, Chinese folks have roughly 200 million ebikes zipping through their city streets - quite dangerously, some sources claim. According to Chris Cherry, a University of Tennessee professor with a research focus in Chinese transportation, Chinese ebike riders "are among the most egregious traffic law violators", with a harrowing 44% of the ebikers sampled in Cherry's study found to be driving the wrong way on the streets.
Meanwhile, the U.S. general populace remains relatively in the dark about this developing mode of transport. A number of obstacles exist in the path for electric bikes to mainstream U.S. adoption. Urban planners across the nation have long grappled with the existing transportation infrastructure in the States being primarily suited for driving automobiles, unlike in Europe, where multi-lane bike highways are aplenty. Costs Stateside are also much higher than in China, with prices ranging from $2,000-5,000 and $300-800 in each country, respectively. As the great psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have elaborately and completely expounded upon in their works, we humans tend to be both change and loss averse; the fear of loss on the "gamble" of not liking or using a $3,000 purchase is enough to shock most lower and middle class consumers into averting change in behavior.
Some producers find themselves advantageously poised for a change in the market dynamics, if and when it happens. ProdecoTech, a Florida-based operation, boasts of a production capacity of around 300 ebikes per day; California-based Pedego has built a network of over 80 branded stores nationwide.
Throwing themselves in the mix for U.S. ebike supremacy is Izip, with their Path Plus being a very viable option for newcomers to electric bicycles. This is a pedelec, or pedal assisted electric bicycle, available at a relatively reasonable cost to the consumer. The Path Plus boasts an impressive max range of 50 miles, as well as weighing in at a reasonable 49.5 pounds.
I purchased an IZIP E3, showed up on time and in great condition . . . I'm sure the bike will be great once it gets going, but the service at Currie Tech is horrible.
The IZIP E3 Path+ isn’t a perfect bike but it’s easy to fall in love with. The ride quality is superb – not jerky but not slow, not perfectly balanced but enjoyable to pedal.