A bicycle side-car is an electric car that runs on electricity from the sun, but has the potential to revolutionize the way cyclists commute to and from work.
That’s because the bicycle side car is a hybrid vehicle, powered by electricity from an onboard battery, and the electric motor can also be used for transportation on roads and on city streets.
The sidecar has been in use by cyclists for some time, but it’s only recently been available to the public.
With the advent of electric bikes, the sidecar is going to take off, says Rob Wiles, a member of the California Bicycle Coalition and owner of the Bicycle Co-op in Southern California.
The bike side car, as it’s called, is “a new innovation in transportation that is actually going to have a significant impact on the future of the bicycling experience,” Wiles says.
The bicycle side carriage, with its built-in battery and the motor it relies on, has been a common form of transportation for cyclists since the 1960s, Wiles notes.
But in recent years, the bicycle community has seen a rise in the number of people and businesses choosing to utilize electric bikes as their primary mode of transportation.
The California Bicycle Alliance, a bicycle advocacy group, recently published a report stating that the number one issue facing bicycle riders is pollution.
In its findings, the California Bike Coalition noted that more than 1,000 deaths from pollution were attributed to electric vehicles in 2015, a trend that continued through 2017.
And while the number for electric bikes has increased, the percentage of Americans who use them has decreased, from 35 percent to 28 percent, according to the California Department of Transportation.
“The rise in electric bikes is a huge problem for cyclists,” says Matt Stearns, executive director of the International Cycling Union.
“We need to be thinking about this in a broader way.”
The number of electric bike owners is also growing in the U.S., Stears says, but the trends for the overall market aren’t as clear-cut.
In fact, he says, there’s a growing number of “mixed” electric bikes.
Some electric bike manufacturers use a battery system with the battery being attached to the frame and the rider, while others use a similar system, where the rider and the battery are connected through a cable.
But while the systems are popular in Europe, it’s the U: Electric bikes, especially the sidecars, have been a big problem for bike advocates in the States.
Wiles believes that the U will be one of the first major markets where electric bikes are going to be popular, as “the bicycle community is going in the right direction and the U is going the right way.”
He cites California as one of a few states where the electric sidecar market is growing, especially because of a growing interest from bike-share operators.
The electric bike side-cab is being used by both cyclists and car-sharing companies.
The two sides can also share the same bike with other cyclists, and it can also work as a hybrid car, Wile says.
He says it’s important to note that electric sidecars are still expensive.
They typically cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.
“You’re going to want to go out and buy a hybrid or electric bike in the next few years,” he says.
But electric sidecabs are being embraced by the broader bicycle community, and Wiles sees this as a positive development for the future.
“It’s not only about bikes,” he adds.
“But I think there are a lot of positives that electric bikes can bring.”
“Electric sidecar” by Rob Wils on Scribd.