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Old 01-26-2012, 04:53 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Yes, it's highly unfortunate that the state of New York takes such a stance against what is in fact a viable alternative means of transport - limiting what you're allowed to use to what's offered by a "licensed manufacturer" only without provision, such as a safety inspection & excepting only ebikes - which seem to be allowed within some comparatively limited constraints;

the electric motor shall not have a power output of
more than 750 watts, and is incapable of propelling the device at a
speed greater than twenty miles per hour on level ground.
S1357B-2011 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Defines the term electric assisted bicycle - New York State Senate
While this is completely feasible within city limits & perhaps even preferable - in rural communities the effectiveness of ebikes as distance commuters & daily drivers becomes highly questionable, particularly in adverse weather conditions & off season use. 750 watts (1hp) is at least far better than the 250w (0.33hp) I believe it used to be there...

I have a deep appreciation for the potential of both bicycles and electric vehicles, but given the limitations currently faced in both viable range & cost, it remains a rather unpopular choice & that's a shame really - when combined with making liquid fuel assist bicycles outright illegal it puts a stranglehold on the market & vastly reduces the options available to anyone seeking alternative transportation to pretty much commercially available vehicles & ebike kits.

While I don't particularly recommend the engine I use on my winter beater (commonplace Chinese kit) as it's of amazingly low quality & a primitive design, it does illustrate the potential as I've been commuting as a daily driver for three full years in the state of Maine. Using an approximate 12 gallons of fuel per year* (including recreational riding) and adding in the cost of the bike ($200), the cost of the kit ($150) and the lack of mandatory insurance or registration (a license is required in this state) and the total cost over the past three years has been roughly $500, including fuel @ $4 a gallon.

...which about translates to just one replacement battery pack, no bike, no motor and given the distances traveled & limited charge cycles even with the battery technology available (optimum 1000 cycles w/lifepo4 & BMS) - you're probably looking at a replacement every 2 - 2&1/2 years or so, best case scenario.

Needless to say that isn't the most economical choice for my usage at least, nor even an environmentally sound one given the materials involved.

*I can't quote actual fuel mileage as it's wildly variable - it's a pedal vehicle operated under all conditions & speeds, thus gallons per year. I usually average about 3-4000 miles a year but obviously it's not a 300mpg+ engine lol

Last edited by BarelyAWake; 01-26-2012 at 08:12 AM..
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