As city dwellers around the world increasingly hop on a bicycle as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation, perceptions about bike usage have expanded to include more utilitarian purposes, and the number of electric bikes is on the rise.
These vehicles are extremely energy-efficient: An e-bike with a 540 watt-hour battery can travel up to 70 miles. Electric bikes can also help people bike to work without breaking a sweat while enjoying a fresh-air commute.
Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener founded the e-bike shop the New Wheel (http://newwheel.net/) in 2010 in Bernal Heights. They say they saw great promise for electric bike technology to change the way people get around and have doubled sales every year, with about 500 e-bike owning customers in the Bay Area. Most of those bikes, they say, were sold in the past two years. (Read more at SFGate.com).