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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 9:27:37 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: Smackledorfer: 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.

Sounds like you need a motorbike.  HD has a great new electric model.  If you live in the country and ride a bicycle, your neighbors must snicker.


You are very ignorant and seem intent on displaying it.
 
2021-02-25 9:29:09 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: Smackledorfer: 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.

Sounds like you need a motorbike.  HD has a great new electric model.  If you live in the country and ride a bicycle, your neighbors must snicker.


Which country are you from?
 
2021-02-25 9:32:59 PM  

Animatronik: If you are under the age of 50 and need an electric bike instead of a regular one I pity you.

Unless you are disabled just say no.


Well thanks for the pity then I guess? I was a professional dancer and now at 36 have bad knees. Most of the people I know who were dancers or real athletes have problems withe their joints long before 50.
 
2021-02-25 9:34:32 PM  

petec: Uncontrolled_Jibe: Smackledorfer: 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.

Sounds like you need a motorbike.  HD has a great new electric model.  If you live in the country and ride a bicycle, your neighbors must snicker.

Which country are you from?


I only ask because up here in NY, we're gonna snikker at you if you show up on a HD that has a battery instead of a v-twin, and how in the hell do you put loud pipes on a farking e-cycle?

/get out
//-->
 
2021-02-25 9:40:44 PM  

ace in your face: Animatronik: If you are under the age of 50 and need an electric bike instead of a regular one I pity you.

Unless you are disabled just say no.

Well thanks for the pity then I guess? I was a professional dancer and now at 36 have bad knees. Most of the people I know who were dancers or real athletes have problems withe their joints long before 50.


don't leave out us construction workers
/but if you didn't know it was inevitable
//shame on you
///always make sure there are old people in your work/profession
/V or have another option
 
2021-02-25 10:07:41 PM  

joyride75: 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.


Minneapolis/ St. Paul actually has one of the highest rates of winter bike commuting of any major metro area in the nation.
 
2021-02-25 10:13:11 PM  

whidbey: 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.


You blew my cover!
 
2021-02-25 10:16:46 PM  

kindms: I road a bicycle for years without a helmet. as did every child who grew up riding bicycles in the 70s -90s. You didnt start seeing people say everyone had to wear helmets to bike and ski until kind of recently.


That's because we only got our first sets of good data on rates & types of head injuries from cycling or snow sports 2-3 decades ago. ER docs had long railed about the need for helmet usage in those sports well before we had the data because they would keep seeing the same tragic injuries.

I'd never care to call out a stranger or anything about it, but me and mine wear helmets on bikes & snowboards. Full stop. There's strong data backing up their use. And anecdotally I know one bike helmet's already saved me from a solid head injury.
 
2021-02-25 10:37:25 PM  

GregInIndy: I'd never care to call out a stranger or anything about it, but me and mine wear helmets on bikes & snowboards. Full stop. There's strong data backing up their use. And anecdotally I know one bike helmet's already saved me from a solid head injury.


Right there with you. I've cracked two helmets in the last two or three years. I'm tall, and the ground is a long way down. At least one of those incidents would probably have knocked me out cold; even with the helmet's protection, I had a headache off and on for the next day or so.
 
2021-02-25 10:55:13 PM  

derpes_simplex: We subsidize electric cars because they take gas powered cars off the road.  Subsidizing electric bikes will just make people fat.


username checks out
 
2021-02-25 11:38:00 PM  

RevCarter: joyride75: rga184: Cyberluddite: Noticeably F.A.T.: Cyberluddite: 

[Fark user image 425x318][Fark user image 425x318]
I paid $1500 for mine. It go ...


Nice !  Rad Mini FTW.  What happened to your fenders?  I ride mine on a powerline trail, and I need those fenders to keep the 4" stripe of mud off me.  I'm going to get a 32Gal sterilite tub to make it easier to haul it on/off my boat.

electricbikereview.comView Full Size


Really don't get the hate for e-bikes.  I drive an EV, and everyone seems to love that (except the coal-rollers).  Here in WA our power is green, so what's the problem, farkers?  Boomers getting exercise?  Haters suck more than boomers - just saying.
 
2021-02-25 11:38:08 PM  
I ride around a 100 miles week on a standard bike and I think e-bikes are great. I've never bought one because price and the roads around me are dangerous during rush hour, but if we were to get a bike lane or a greenway like the cities been talking about, I'd do it in a heartbeat to get groceries and ride downtown.
 
2021-02-26 12:40:21 AM  

Mikey1969: lilplatinum: Mikey1969: lilplatinum: demaL-demaL-yeH: Dammit, subby, NO!

I don't need any more of those obese morons taking up the entire farking bike path.

I like food delivery drivers threatening to run me down on their silent death bikes on the sidewalks, adds excitement to life.

What, do your regular bikes have internal combustion engines, or something? Bikes have always been silent, except for when they have a horn or bell on them.

I Was referring to a nyc phenomenon where electric bike drivers like to try to run you down. Normies just run red lights but I've yet to be almost run down by them on sidewalks.

One more reason to stay away from NYC, sounds like. Good luck on the streets.


Small price to pay to not live in some useless flyover hellhole.
 
2021-02-26 4:40:12 AM  

Mikey1969: Cyberluddite: Noticeably F.A.T.: 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.

You're making the assumption that electric bikes are intended to replace non-electric bikes, rather than larger passenger vehicles (of any sort).

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.

Yet more people will be willing to use their bike to run to the store and load up with groceries if they have an assist system on their bike. I don't get the hate for E-bikes, but it's pretty farking viscous.


It is quite the sticky situation.
 
2021-02-26 8:27:55 AM  

pornopose: 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.


sorta like our huge car junkyards?
 
2021-02-26 8:34:46 AM  

jst3p: As an e-bike owner these are my observations:

Mine is "pedal assist" which means I have to put some effort in before the motor engages. So I still get a bit of a workout (I still build up a sweat and burn calories).

I live in an area with a LOT of hills, so without it the amount of time I would spend out on the bike is probably zero minutes, with it I get out for a few hours a week in the summer.

The biking community I have run into have been far more supportive than the representation here at fark, most "real" bikers have been pretty supportive and accepting. I expected a lot more bile spewing.

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 (mainly hills).

I can go a lot faster at a sustained pace on my e-bike than I could on a real bike so... it's more fun!"

My e-bike has a larger carbon footprint than a real bike, but still less than my car by a long shot.

Haters can hate all they want.


What kind of cyclist hates hills?  Hills are the best part of cycling.  People travel hours to go ride bigger hills than they have at home.
 
2021-02-26 8:35:14 AM  

jst3p: As an e-bike owner these are my observations:

Mine is "pedal assist" which means I have to put some effort in before the motor engages. So I still get a bit of a workout (I still build up a sweat and burn calories).

I live in an area with a LOT of hills, so without it the amount of time I would spend out on the bike is probably zero minutes, with it I get out for a few hours a week in the summer.

The biking community I have run into have been far more supportive than the representation here at fark, most "real" bikers have been pretty supportive and accepting. I expected a lot more bile spewing.

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 (mainly hills).

I can go a lot faster at a sustained pace on my e-bike than I could on a real bike so... it's more fun!"

My e-bike has a larger carbon footprint than a real bike, but still less than my car by a long shot.

Haters can hate all they want.


For exercise anyway.  For commuting hills probably do suck.
 
2021-02-26 8:37:44 AM  

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.


I can't speak for the hot weather, but what determines whether people bike in the winter isn't snow, it's bike infrastructure.  In countries like Finland, where people can still get around safely on a bike in the middle of winter, the Fins still bike.
 
2021-02-26 8:38:56 AM  

proteus_b: Mikey1969: Cyberluddite: Noticeably F.A.T.: 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.

You're making the assumption that electric bikes are intended to replace non-electric bikes, rather than larger passenger vehicles (of any sort).

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.

Yet more people will be willing to use their bike to run to the store and load up with groceries if they have an assist system on their bike. I don't get the hate for E-bikes, but it's pretty farking viscous.

Why not just use a car though, at that point?


Because a car doesn't get you exercise.  A car has a bigger carbon footprint.
 
2021-02-26 8:43:15 AM  

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.


Those fat tire ebikes have a throttle, not necessarily pedal assist.  They're essentially a scooter.  They like them because they can still be fatasses, like the tires on their bike.
 
2021-02-26 8:53:15 AM  

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 a boomer for calling it a child's toy.
 
2021-02-26 8:55:50 AM  

JesseL: 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.


Actually, most cyclists are all for ebikes.  As long as people get some exercise or get a car off the road.  The more people out on bikes using the bike lanes, the safer the rest of us are.
 
2021-02-26 9:04:15 AM  

raygundan: Cyberluddite: 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.

That's not true... electric bikes are almost always better than regular bikes for both energy consumption and pollution.  It turns out that people are really inefficient at turning food into motion, and that making food takes more energy and produces more emissions than other energy sources, even ones as dirty as coal.

A human-powered bike will beat a car, but mostly because the bike is very light and low-speed compared to the car, not because humans are an efficient way to power it.  Replace the human with even a coal-powered e-bike, and the total emissions drop substantially.

There's still an argument to be made that humans need some exercise, and that if you get your exercise transporting yourself somewhere, this is better than exercising separately and THEN using some other form of transport... but if it's just "which is worse for the environment," the e-bike will have lower emissions and energy consumption than the human-powered bike.

A couple of citations, although I'm sure you can find more.


I think that second to last paragraphs is an interesting part of the equation.  People who bike for a commute don't usually go get some other form of exercise after.  And when you consider a lot of people's exercise consists of using a treadmill or a elliptical or some other form of electricity consuming machine, it's double the carbon footprint.

A lot of people who e-bike would not have otherwise biked without the electric assist.  They'd just drive and then go to the gym as well.
 
2021-02-26 9:07:05 AM  

kindms: whidbey: 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.

I road a bicycle for years without a helmet. as did every child who grew up riding bicycles in the 70s -90s. You didnt start seeing people say everyone had to wear helmets to bike and ski until kind of recently. Other than old people protecting their noggin it seems like overkill.


Survivor bias.  "I didn't wear a helmet and i was fine" is something you can say because you didn't die of a head injury.

Lots of cycling countries don't use helmets to cycle, and they have their arguments against it.  To be honest i feel naked without it, but can see if just riding slowly and not in traffic it's not a big deal to not wear one.
 
2021-02-26 11:25:18 AM  
I have a friend in his late 60s who is into his new e-MTB with evangelical zeal (insert urinal-CrossFit.jpg here.) I cringe whenever I hear him go on about it.

Why? Because it's riders like him who tend to get into more accidents on their e-bikes (MTBs and street) owing to their ease of effort and greater speed, combined with weaker, less-agile (older) riders. Like my friend.

And in my firsthand experience it's exactly these riders who are showing up on shared bike/pedestrian paths whipping by at 20-28mph on their shiny $5k toys. That's a lot of kinetic energy that'll do serious damage in a collision.

It gets worse. There's high-powered bikes out there that can go over 60mph 'off-road' but are supposed to be limited (*wink*) to 20-28mph mode on-road to qualify as license-free Class 1 or 2 bikes. Yet, mode change is as easy as the flip of a switch. Oddly enough the folks riding these are younger, and seem to stay off shared paths.

That said, any 'bike' that can do 60mph at the flick of a mode switch isn't a bike, it's a motorcycle, and needs to be regulated as such. On this point I've written several lawmakers, one of whom co-authored California's e-bike rules that defined the classes for them, and they're looking into the problem with DMV.

And before you go all 'stop liking what I don't like', there's very good reasons for establishing power and speed classes for bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles that predate e-bikes. As power and speed increase, so do the level of risk and responsibility for the rider. There's well-understood social contracts that comes with each level of performance. These contracts don't change just because there's a battery powering things instead of gasoline.
 
2021-02-26 12:02:19 PM  

RevCarter: lilplatinum: RevCarter: joyride75: rga184: Cyberluddite: Noticeably F.A.T.: 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.

You're making the assumption that electric bikes are intended to replace non-electric bikes, rather than larger passenger vehicles (of any sort).

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.

I have a friend who is morbidly obese.  She can't ride her bike because she can't get up the hills.  And to be fair, they are challenging hills for even a fit person to climb.  The hills are between her and her work.

An e-bike would allow her to bike in her commute, get exercise and decrease car traffic all at once.  More than that,it would give her freedom to go on bike rides with her family.  Right now, she sends her daughter and husband out if a bike ride is planned and she stays home.  Which means she doesn't exercise and doesn't interact with her family.

I would live to see ebikes become more accessible, even if I'm.persinally not interested.

They've come a looooong way in the US, even in the last 5 years. They've become way more accessible as far as availability and price. When I realized e-bikes were a thing 8 or so years ago, you either had to build your own, which is a non-starter for many, or pay $$$$ for an under-powered bike with a heavy lead-acid battery. But now you can get a relatively cheap pre-built e-bike with a good battery delivered right to your door for less than $2k. I've "built" great bikes for less than $1k.

Hopefully that can just continue in the next 5 years!

[Fark user image 425x318][Fark user image 425x318]
I paid $1500 for mine. It go ...

How long does a charge last on those?  Does pedaling recharge it?

The ones with direct drive also have regenerative braking, but not the chain drive ones. Range is 40-ish miles depending on how much pedaling you're contributing, how many hills you're climbing, how strategic you are with your gearing, and probably things like weight and how cold it is outside. I generally get 30+, but I also don't want to have to pedal home without the assist, because it's not exactly light (60+ lbs).


That's curious. There's no inherent reason for a hub-drive vs. chain-drive motor unit to have regeneration or not. Regen adds some cost to the controller (needs to be a 2-quadrant control) but that's it. What gives?
 
2021-02-26 12:58:46 PM  

what the cat dragged in: That's curious. There's no inherent reason for a hub-drive vs. chain-drive motor unit to have regeneration or not. Regen adds some cost to the controller (needs to be a 2-quadrant control) but that's it. What gives?


Chains freewheel. That's why you can stop peddling as you coast downhill. So there is no drive back to the motor, because the chain isn't moving.
 
2021-02-26 8:40:57 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: what the cat dragged in: That's curious. There's no inherent reason for a hub-drive vs. chain-drive motor unit to have regeneration or not. Regen adds some cost to the controller (needs to be a 2-quadrant control) but that's it. What gives?

Chains freewheel. That's why you can stop peddling as you coast downhill. So there is no drive back to the motor, because the chain isn't moving.


You missed the 'inherent' part. I get that typical center-drive e-bike design uses legacy chain / rear hub freewheel, with the motor assisting the crank. With a derailleur you're pretty much stuck only pulling the chain, so regen isn't possible. The only thing you could do is channel some of the human torque to charging the motor.

That's just... dumb. Think about it. You've spent all that battery climbing hills, and you get none of it back when you're coming down them. Near the end of your ride you find that your battery is spent, and if there's an uphill at the end, you're huffing that 50-70lb bike up the hill.

Now, open the design box a bit. Consider dual-drive, which has a separate motor coupling. That could regen. So could a single-speed with crank-side ratchet, with maybe a couple of different sprockets like some single speeders do.
 
2021-02-26 9:44:40 PM  

what the cat dragged in: Carter Pewterschmidt: what the cat dragged in: That's curious. There's no inherent reason for a hub-drive vs. chain-drive motor unit to have regeneration or not. Regen adds some cost to the controller (needs to be a 2-quadrant control) but that's it. What gives?

Chains freewheel. That's why you can stop peddling as you coast downhill. So there is no drive back to the motor, because the chain isn't moving.

You missed the 'inherent' part. I get that typical center-drive e-bike design uses legacy chain / rear hub freewheel, with the motor assisting the crank. With a derailleur you're pretty much stuck only pulling the chain, so regen isn't possible. The only thing you could do is channel some of the human torque to charging the motor.

That's just... dumb. Think about it. You've spent all that battery climbing hills, and you get none of it back when you're coming down them. Near the end of your ride you find that your battery is spent, and if there's an uphill at the end, you're huffing that 50-70lb bike up the hill.

Now, open the design box a bit. Consider dual-drive, which has a separate motor coupling. That could regen. So could a single-speed with crank-side ratchet, with maybe a couple of different sprockets like some single speeders do.


Chain drive is popular because it's easy to add onto an existing bike design. If you're going to all that trouble to add regenerative braking then it's easier to just go for a hub motor.

So there is a very inherent reason chain drive doesn't have regenerative braking. It would mean you could never stop pedalling and coast. The pedals would be turning all the time which is a pain when cycling.
 
2021-02-27 12:37:45 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: what the cat dragged in: Carter Pewterschmidt: what the cat dragged in: That's curious. There's no inherent reason for a hub-drive vs. chain-drive motor unit to have regeneration or not. Regen adds some cost to the controller (needs to be a 2-quadrant control) but that's it. What gives?

Chains freewheel. That's why you can stop peddling as you coast downhill. So there is no drive back to the motor, because the chain isn't moving.

You missed the 'inherent' part. I get that typical center-drive e-bike design uses legacy chain / rear hub freewheel, with the motor assisting the crank. With a derailleur you're pretty much stuck only pulling the chain, so regen isn't possible. The only thing you could do is channel some of the human torque to charging the motor.

That's just... dumb. Think about it. You've spent all that battery climbing hills, and you get none of it back when you're coming down them. Near the end of your ride you find that your battery is spent, and if there's an uphill at the end, you're huffing that 50-70lb bike up the hill.

Now, open the design box a bit. Consider dual-drive, which has a separate motor coupling. That could regen. So could a single-speed with crank-side ratchet, with maybe a couple of different sprockets like some single speeders do.

Chain drive is popular because it's easy to add onto an existing bike design. If you're going to all that trouble to add regenerative braking then it's easier to just go for a hub motor.

So there is a very inherent reason chain drive doesn't have regenerative braking. It would mean you could never stop pedalling and coast. The pedals would be turning all the time which is a pain when cycling.


No, it's just lazy and unimaginative design. And to think of the money they get for these things, it's insane.
 
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