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(Slate)   We subsidize electric cars - why not electric bikes?   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Bicycle, Cycling, e-bikes, e-bike, Tax credit, e-bike market, Democratic Reps. Jimmy Panetta of California, new e-bike's purchase price  
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911 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Feb 2021 at 5:16 PM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-02-25 5:40:19 PM  

lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?


20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.
 
2021-02-25 5:40:59 PM  

Explodo: The subsidies would apply to $10,000 long-travel mountain e-bikes too.  That's far from their intended goal, but they don't yet specify that the bikes need to be "city" bikes.

As a mountain biker, I feel that I will someday need an e-bike when I'm too old to be able to get up hills in any sort of fun way anymore, but by then other joints may not work enough to ride anyway.  I do not begrudge those who use them, though there are great many bikers who do.

I don't think this is a good bill.  Subsidizing weekend fun toys is not good look.


As another mountain biker I'm conflicted about e(mountain)bikes.
They are cheating because you don't earn you descent... and I cringed slightly when I saw the first one at my local trailhead.
But the times I've demoed them they are incredibly fun and you can still get a workout.
I'm not getting any younger so my next bike might well have a motor.
The dangerous endgame is that they become so similar in appearance to regular MTBs and so easy to modify to full throttle (non pedal assist) that trails start closing because they turn into electric dirt bike trails.
 
2021-02-25 5:41:28 PM  

Noticeably F.A.T.: You're making the assumption that electric bikes are intended to replace non-electric bikes, rather than larger passenger vehicles


Bicycles are not a replacement for larger passenger vehicles.

Supplemental, maybe, but not a replacement.
=Smidge=
 
2021-02-25 5:41:32 PM  

jst3p: lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?

20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.


Now try at negative twenty Fahrenheit
 
2021-02-25 5:41:56 PM  
Does David Zipper own stock in an electric bike company?
 
2021-02-25 5:42:15 PM  

petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.


Even if not required by law, there are reasons that they are mandated in some places and seriously recommended in other places.
 
2021-02-25 5:43:23 PM  
They're great for alcoholics who have lost their driver's licenses.
 
2021-02-25 5:43:26 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: WTF is wrong with you people?
The bus will take you were the bicycle does

*Snipped because I'm sure subsidizing those things is good too*

Bicycles are an alternative to shoes.


The parts of your post I didn't snip are incredibly stupid.

Not everyone in the country lives near a bus stop. I'm 7 miles away from the closest bus stop.

Walking to the bus stop alone would take two hours.
 
2021-02-25 5:44:29 PM  
because they wouldn't get used enough?
 
2021-02-25 5:44:51 PM  

Cornelis de Gyselaer: jst3p: lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?

20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.

Now try at negative twenty Fahrenheit


It probably still feels like AC....
 
2021-02-25 5:45:27 PM  

whidbey: Everyone seems to want one of those fat(test) tire e-bikes these days.

It's like they don't seem to get it, and want a bike more like  a car.


And what's wrong with that?
I love mine.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-02-25 5:45:37 PM  

dr_blasto: Cyberluddite: Electric cars reduce energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (fossil-fuel-powered) cars.  Thus there is a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Electric bikes increase energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (human-powered) bikes.  Thus there is less of a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Which is why we should subsidize actual bicycles!


China did that and they have a huuuuge bicycle graveyard now.
 
2021-02-25 5:46:20 PM  

jst3p: lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?

20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.


Spoken like someone who never had to live in Houston in August.. (or in february apparently).
 
2021-02-25 5:46:47 PM  

Smackledorfer: Wanderlusting: Because it snows in this country? And in the other half it gets so hot to make any vehicle without air conditioning a heat stroke on wheels? 

Texas farked around and found out - the hard way. And Phoenix farked around and found out - the hard way about density altitude and how it effects airlines in July.

Bikes are - at the very least - a seasonal item for the majority of this country and it's populace. 

For those in coastal California, have at it, but nobody it riding bikes in Atlanta in August when it's 85*F and 95% humidity.

"why shouldn't ebikes be subsidized" was the question.

I fail to see how "some places aren't suitable for ebikes some of the time" is a good answer.


Subsidizing the fraction of the fraction for those who will purchase it is neither smart nor essential. If you want to continue to subsidize electric cars, I'm all for it, but bikes are nonsense in this country and never will more than a small fraction of people use them.
 
2021-02-25 5:47:03 PM  

Porous Horace: They're great for alcoholics who have lost their driver's licenses.


Don't try this in Germany, you get your driver's license suspended for drunk driving same as if driving.
 
2021-02-25 5:47:21 PM  

lilplatinum: jst3p: lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?

20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.

Spoken like someone who never had to live in Houston in August.. (or in february apparently).


Fair enough, humidity isn't a concern here.
 
2021-02-25 5:48:31 PM  

lilplatinum: Porous Horace: They're great for alcoholics who have lost their driver's licenses.

Don't try this in Germany, you get your driver's license suspended for drunk driving same as if driving.


We have people given dui on riding lawnmowers quite often
 
2021-02-25 5:48:37 PM  

jst3p: 20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.


EL EM AYE OH ... I can assure you anywhere above 85* ambient or 80% humidity would disagree with that statement. Drive on an Atlanta freeway at 75mph in the summer and you'll find wind does exactly fark and all to cooling you down. Getting blasted by a hair dryer isn't fun at any speed.
 
2021-02-25 5:49:58 PM  

Wanderlusting: jst3p: 20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.

EL EM AYE OH ... I can assure you anywhere above 85* ambient or 80% humidity would disagree with that statement. Drive on an Atlanta freeway at 75mph in the summer and you'll find wind does exactly fark and all to cooling you down. Getting blasted by a hair dryer isn't fun at any speed.


Not to mention radiated asphalt hell
 
2021-02-25 5:51:38 PM  

Wanderlusting: jst3p: 20 miles an hour (even up hill) feels like AC even when it's hot out.

EL EM AYE OH ... I can assure you anywhere above 85* ambient or 80% humidity would disagree with that statement. Drive on an Atlanta freeway at 75mph in the summer and you'll find wind does exactly fark and all to cooling you down. Getting blasted by a hair dryer isn't fun at any speed.


Fair enough "Not good for e-biking" is way down at LEAST below number 431 when it comes to "reasons not to live in Atlanta".
 
2021-02-25 5:51:57 PM  

Wanderlusting: Smackledorfer: Wanderlusting: Because it snows in this country? And in the other half it gets so hot to make any vehicle without air conditioning a heat stroke on wheels? 

Texas farked around and found out - the hard way. And Phoenix farked around and found out - the hard way about density altitude and how it effects airlines in July.

Bikes are - at the very least - a seasonal item for the majority of this country and it's populace. 

For those in coastal California, have at it, but nobody it riding bikes in Atlanta in August when it's 85*F and 95% humidity.

"why shouldn't ebikes be subsidized" was the question.

I fail to see how "some places aren't suitable for ebikes some of the time" is a good answer.

Subsidizing the fraction of the fraction for those who will purchase it is neither smart nor essential. If you want to continue to subsidize electric cars, I'm all for it, but bikes are nonsense in this country and never will more than a small fraction of people use them.


This still makes no sense.

The amount of money spent subsidizing is going to be lower the smaller the population who will take advantage of it. There isn't somehow an increased amount of waste to a program just because a smaller fraction of the population will use it. So the subsidy doesn't become less smart the fewer people it applies to, nor any less essential to those people.

Is your gripe just "it won't help me so why bother" or do you feel there is some significant opportunity cost here?
 
2021-02-25 5:55:25 PM  

sokalel: whidbey: Everyone seems to want one of those fat(test) tire e-bikes these days.

It's like they don't seem to get it, and want a bike more like  a car.

And what's wrong with that?
I love mine.

[Fark user image 850x478]


They're annoying as hell, and not efficient in any way.  They have a granny gear and nothing else.  Seems like a waste of money to me.

But I'm glad you enjoy it.  At least you're helping in taking a car off the road.
 
2021-02-25 5:57:22 PM  

Cyberluddite: True, but if an electric bike works as a replacement for a car, there's already a suitable two-wheeled replacement vehicle available.  It's called a bike.


If you don't have to transport shiat to work bulky enough to make a bike of any kind incapable of the task, public transit is also an option for you, generally speaking.  Like, if you live in an area where keeping the e-bike charged and running would be viable in the first place, which is to say an urban area.

And, yeah, this isn't subsidized because there's no situation where an e-bike specifically is preferable to the normal kind as far as the interests of any level of government or the public is concerned.  I'd add that just subsidizing people's personal transportation in general without limiting it to a specific thing wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea, though.  Personal transportation increases employability and social mobility as well as literal mobility, even just an old bicycle can be the difference between being homeless and maintaining the income for a place of residence.
 
2021-02-25 5:58:14 PM  

Cornelis de Gyselaer: dericwater: Cyberluddite: Electric cars reduce energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (fossil-fuel-powered) cars.  Thus there is a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Electric bikes increase energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (human-powered) bikes.  Thus there is less of a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Good point. Here in hilly San Francisco, e-bikes are a godsend for those of us who might have to go up Nob Hill or *gak, huff, huff, puff* Russian Hill.

Or Filbert
Only nuts try that one


What am I if I go up cadillac mountain, starting out at the boat ramp in bar harbor so I'm sure I was at sea level when I began?
 
2021-02-25 5:58:26 PM  
Supply chain problems make this a non-issue right now. However, I'd like to see this extended to non-electric bikes for purely selfish reasons - I want a mountain bike. Tax incenticve or not, nothing is in stocknanyway and it's looking like 8-10 months backorder.
 
2021-02-25 6:00:38 PM  

bhcompy: Bicycles are being stolen left and right at the current time.  It's not safe to leave your bike chained up anywhere anymore.  We don't need a government subsidized thief enablement program.


This. There's an increase of thefts of both regular bikes and e-Bikes in my area.
 
2021-02-25 6:01:33 PM  
I'd love to have one. Man, put one of those nice big old school Huffy box seats on it so you are not killing your ass and balls, nice high handle bars, a nice back support coming up from the seat, that would be perfect.
 
2021-02-25 6:01:37 PM  

jst3p: whidbey: Everyone seems to want one of those fat(test) tire e-bikes these days.

It's like they don't seem to get it, and want a bike more like  a car.

Yeah, I don't get the fat tire thing but to each their own. Mine is built on a regular mountain bike frame (the last e-bike Diamondback made as far as I know) but the battery is a dead giveaway. My next one will be completely stealth as far as looks are concerned.


Fat tires are good in deep gravel, sand, mud, and snow. Stuff that just stops you in your tracks with skinny tires, you can ride right through.
 
2021-02-25 6:02:06 PM  

Cornelis de Gyselaer: lilplatinum: Porous Horace: They're great for alcoholics who have lost their driver's licenses.

Don't try this in Germany, you get your driver's license suspended for drunk driving same as if driving.

We have people given dui on riding lawnmowers quite often


I'm DRUNK
Youtube aLf9aqYLVTk
 
2021-02-25 6:03:27 PM  

whidbey: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Dude you are so Boomer.   Every time. I'm hoping you're Boomer Poeslaw.


Sorry but partners secretary a few years ago buried a 17 year old son from a bike accident, that he most likely would have survived with a helmet
 
2021-02-25 6:03:55 PM  

lilplatinum: jst3p: A "real" cyclist I ran into told me he had tried one once and admitted that "it took the parts that suck" out of cycling

So it has climate control?


You get a nice breeze at 25mph.
 
2021-02-25 6:05:04 PM  

petec: Cornelis de Gyselaer: dericwater: Cyberluddite: Electric cars reduce energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (fossil-fuel-powered) cars.  Thus there is a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Electric bikes increase energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (human-powered) bikes.  Thus there is less of a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Good point. Here in hilly San Francisco, e-bikes are a godsend for those of us who might have to go up Nob Hill or *gak, huff, huff, puff* Russian Hill.

Or Filbert
Only nuts try that one

What am I if I go up cadillac mountain, starting out at the boat ramp in bar harbor so I'm sure I was at sea level when I began?


Not to thread jack but someone did an awesome VR environment for Cadillac Mountain (SteamVR environment).  I've used it as a "relax" environment.
 
2021-02-25 6:05:15 PM  

whidbey: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Dude you are so Boomer.   Every time. I'm hoping you're Boomer Poeslaw.


I'm a boomer if I don't wear a helmet while playing on a child's toy?

Getfarked
 
2021-02-25 6:08:17 PM  
If you need an "e-bike" just suck it up and get a motorcycle ffs.
 
2021-02-25 6:08:46 PM  

fo_sho!: Explodo: The subsidies would apply to $10,000 long-travel mountain e-bikes too.  That's far from their intended goal, but they don't yet specify that the bikes need to be "city" bikes.

As a mountain biker, I feel that I will someday need an e-bike when I'm too old to be able to get up hills in any sort of fun way anymore, but by then other joints may not work enough to ride anyway.  I do not begrudge those who use them, though there are great many bikers who do.

I don't think this is a good bill.  Subsidizing weekend fun toys is not good look.

As another mountain biker I'm conflicted about e(mountain)bikes.
They are cheating because you don't earn you descent... and I cringed slightly when I saw the first one at my local trailhead.
But the times I've demoed them they are incredibly fun and you can still get a workout.
I'm not getting any younger so my next bike might well have a motor.
The dangerous endgame is that they become so similar in appearance to regular MTBs and so easy to modify to full throttle (non pedal assist) that trails start closing because they turn into electric dirt bike trails.


i'm all for eMTB for those who want it, but they TEAR UP the trails around here especially in the winter.  keep those to fire roads and off the single track.  couldnt care less about the cheating up hill (to each their own), just the quality of the trails and ability to maintain.

most parks around here prohibit their use, but i've never seen a ranger stop anyone on one of them.

/shred on
 
2021-02-25 6:10:39 PM  

sdd2000: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Even if not required by law, there are reasons that they are mandated in some places and seriously recommended in other places.


If I'm storming down a mountain, yeah

just putzing around town, um, no

/as a teenager I was riding over 150 miles a week, for 5-6 years
//broke some bikes and got some stitches
///no broken bones
 
2021-02-25 6:11:12 PM  

petec: whidbey: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Dude you are so Boomer.   Every time. I'm hoping you're Boomer Poeslaw.

I'm a boomer if I don't wear a helmet while playing on a child's toy?

Getfarked


A $3000+ e-bike is not a "child's toy."   Neither is the standard bike I bought for nearly a thousand 15 years ago.

And there doesn't have to be a law.   Not wearing a helmet while on a bicycle is irresponsible behavior.
 
2021-02-25 6:11:16 PM  

Gyrfalcon: If you need an "e-bike" just suck it up and get a motorcycle ffs.


No thanks.
 
2021-02-25 6:11:43 PM  
Would all the stop-liking-what-I-don't-like cyclists feel better if we called e-bikes something like e-mopeds or something?

They're obviously not bicycles. Nobody else cares if they fail to live up to what you like about bicycles.
 
2021-02-25 6:11:46 PM  

petec: whidbey: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Dude you are so Boomer.   Every time. I'm hoping you're Boomer Poeslaw.

I'm a boomer if I don't wear a helmet while playing on a child's toy?

Getfarked


You're DEFINITELY a boomer when you describe bicycles (particularly e-bikes) as a child's toy
 
2021-02-25 6:12:44 PM  

dericwater: Cyberluddite: Electric cars reduce energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (fossil-fuel-powered) cars.  Thus there is a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Electric bikes increase energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (human-powered) bikes.  Thus there is less of a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Good point. Here in hilly San Francisco, e-bikes are a godsend for those of us who might have to go up Nob Hill or *gak, huff, huff, puff* Russian Hill.


Does that really work?  (Serious question, I'm really wondering about that.)  I mean, I have an e-scooter, and it works great on the flat parts of town (and in fact in the pre-COVID era when I was actually going into the office to work, I'd ride the thing to work rather than driving 80% of the time as long as the weather wasn't too wet or cold), but I wouldn't even think of trying to take that scooter up Nob Hill or Russian Hill, because I'm sure I'd either burn out the motor or start going backwards back down the hill.  Do most e-bikes really have the power to conquer steep hills like that?

Perhaps so, since the e-bike motors tend to be a supplement to human power, while the e-scooter motors are a substitute for human power (and they go so fast that you can't use your feet to help push them along anyway unless you want to crash).
 
2021-02-25 6:12:51 PM  

Gyrfalcon: If you need an "e-bike" just suck it up and get a motorcycle ffs.


I had one. While in my car I was at a red light and got rear ended at 40 m.p.h by a guy who was texting and never even hit his brakes. If I were on my motorcycle I would be dead, 100% chance.

I miss my bike but people are just too dumb to trust anymore. The e-bike is not an equivalent replacement for the joy of the motorcycle, but it is about 20% as fun and I will settle for that.
 
2021-02-25 6:13:16 PM  

Gyrfalcon: If you need an "e-bike" just suck it up and get a motorcycle ffs.


Where I am, I don't need a license, insurance or a garage/parking space to store my 20mph e-bike. I can ride my e-bike all year round because they plow trails here. Nobody is riding a motorcycle in the middle of a MN winter.

Why would everybody need a motorcycle?
 
2021-02-25 6:14:35 PM  
because fuque you is y
 
2021-02-25 6:14:48 PM  

joyride75: Gyrfalcon: If you need an "e-bike" just suck it up and get a motorcycle ffs.

Where I am, I don't need a license, insurance or a garage/parking space to store my 20mph e-bike. I can ride my e-bike all year round because they plow trails here. Nobody is riding a motorcycle in the middle of a MN winter.

Why would everybody need a motorcycle?


I think she was impugning your manhood tbf.
 
2021-02-25 6:15:18 PM  

petec: whidbey: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Dude you are so Boomer.   Every time. I'm hoping you're Boomer Poeslaw.

I'm a boomer if I don't wear a helmet while playing on a child's toy?

Getfarked


How about irresponsible asswipe then
 
2021-02-25 6:15:20 PM  

Cornelis de Gyselaer: dericwater: Cyberluddite: Electric cars reduce energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (fossil-fuel-powered) cars.  Thus there is a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Electric bikes increase energy consumption and pollution as compared to non-electric (human-powered) bikes.  Thus there is less of a public policy reason to subsidize them.

Good point. Here in hilly San Francisco, e-bikes are a godsend for those of us who might have to go up Nob Hill or *gak, huff, huff, puff* Russian Hill.

Or Filbert
Only nuts try that one


Filbert, between Hyde and Leavenworth (the steepest through street in the city) is downhill only. You're not supposed to bike or motor up the hill. I went down that hill once by bike, in early evening, in the dark. Scary AF.
 
2021-02-25 6:15:44 PM  
Because cyclists are assholes.
 
2021-02-25 6:15:51 PM  

petec: sdd2000: petec: sdd2000: The fact that the article uses a picture of an irresponsible rider, who is riding without a helmet does not help the case.

Is anyone breaking any laws?
Some states still don't require helmets on motorcycles.

Even if not required by law, there are reasons that they are mandated in some places and seriously recommended in other places.

If I'm storming down a mountain, yeah

just putzing around town, um, no

/as a teenager I was riding over 150 miles a week, for 5-6 years
//broke some bikes and got some stitches
///no broken bones


No, but you're a tool for referring to a legitimate form of transportation to a large portion of the human population as a 'child's toy'. And I'm not referring to third world countries, I'm talking about better developed countries than the USA like the Netherlands. Tool.
 
2021-02-25 6:16:22 PM  

Advernaut: Because cyclists are assholes.


People are assholes, some of them are cyclists.
 
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