The eGo Cycle
After researching the various bike/motor hybrids, I decided to dispense with pedals and settle for just the electric motor, since it was half the price. Other EV members of my chapter had recommended the eGo cycle for its potential for modification to increase speed and range, so I ordered one from the Real Goods/Gaim catalog on sale for $999. The company is in Rhode Island, but, now, the scooter is made in Taiwan.
It came delivered by air frieght in about four weeks and I assembled it that afternoon which meant slipping the fully assembled fork into the body, with the locknuts in the right order and making sure all the brake cables were untangled. My biggest concern was that it make it up the various hills around my house without burning out the motor. The manual warned about going up hills that took longer than 30 seconds to climb. Hills were why I wanted the eGo Cycle because I'm not a big hill climber on my bicycle. The eGo cycle's primary purpose would be to get me to my mother's house.
(It is interesting to note that new housing developments have unreasonably steep streets simply because modern vehicles can climb those hills easily whereas in the pre-50's neighborhood, more care was taken to grade streets up hills so that other types of traffic could make it. This means that these hills are basically off limits to bicycle traffic. What about San Francisco one might well ask? Same thing, but they had cable cars in the older parts of town and then developed the rest later. Also the steep streets are shorter in San Francisco except in the Twin Peaks area.)
The scooter charges up in about four hours and takes less than a kilowatt of juice, about a fifth of what the Sparrow needs. It has a range of 20 miles, but I can't imagine sitting on it for that long. The range is considerably shortened by hills, so I have used the "go far" mode to get home. In the "go far" mode, it's slower than riding a bicycle, so I nearly always have it in the "go fast" mode which gets it up to 23 mph, unless going up a hill, then it's more like 13-14 mph. Though not a head turner like the Sparrow, it gets some attention when people see it close up and realize it is electric.