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ABC7 On Your Side: Electric bikes

May 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
With high gas prices, people are looking for alternative forms of transportation. An Orange County company provides just that, by selling and renting hybrid electric bikes.Terrell Sherry and his wife Linda can physically handle cycling again because of the bike they're riding.

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"Great thing is you can pedal and only use electricity where you need it, like on a hill," said Terrell.

"Yeah, people look at you like, 'How are you getting up that hill?'" said Linda.

While it looks like an ordinary bicycle, just push the lever and the electric power kicks in. The bikes can get up to speeds of about 20 mph.

The idea of a hybrid bike is getting more attractive to some.

"We have a 10 day backlog on orders," said Zclipse co-owner Don Dicostanzo. "We didn't have that until gas went to $4 a gallon."

Two of the bikes are being used by one restaurant to make local deliveries instead of using vehicles.

"The savings is $180 a month alone," said restaurant owner Carmen Cimini.

If you plan to us the electric bike to get to and from work, your commute can only be about 12 miles, or in some cases 20 miles -- that's how long a charge lasts.

You plug the bike into a wall socket. The 20 pound battery charges in about four hours. Some bikes have two batteries, and riders save battery power if they pedal on their own.

No license is required. To ride it on public streets, a helmet is required.

"It costs no money to run it. No gas involved," said Zclipse co-owner Marc Craig.

The hybrid bikes start at nearly $600 and can go as high as nearly $2,000.

For more information, visit www.zclipse.com.

 

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