News : Scooters and Electric Bikes Offer Practical, Economical and Fun Alternative

Jun 10, 2014

Published in SeacoastOnline

By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent

EXETER – For the past few years, Tom Hemenway of EZ Bikes & Scooters in Exeter has offered curious customers a seemingly irresistible offer. “If you take a test ride and don’t have the time of your life and whoop and holler a little, I’ll give you $20.”

There has been an increase in whooping and hollering since Tom and Teresa Hemenway created EZ Bikes & Scooters in 2009 as an expansion of Autosounds of NH, their original auto electronics business. With gas prices still on the rise along with a greater cultural embrace of alternative and much greener forms of transport, their scooters and electric bicycles offer a sensible and increasingly popular solution.

“They are a lot more popular in Europe and China and in states like California,” Tom said about electric bicycles. “They are still relatively new and people still don’t know a lot about them and what they are capable of. We have a lot of fun educating customers and once they take a test ride, they immediately have fun and feel their benefit.”

With its small electric motor attached on the front wheel, electric bicycles give riders the option of peddling when conditions allow, while offering an easily activated electric throttle for steep inclines or unruly terrain. The Hemenways sell five different brands of electric bicycles and ten different models. Theresa says electric bikes combine a pleasurable ride and exercise with barely a hint of a carbon footprint.

Electric bicycles come in two different types. The Ebike can be pedaled like a regular bicycle and has a throttle to activate the motor for assistance. The EPAC has a pedal-activated motor. The bicycles can travel between 16 to 20 miles per hour depending on terrain and weight of the rider. They have a range of up to 40 miles a charge of straight motor usage and can be plugged into a regular home outlet. It takes only four hours for a complete charge of the lithium batteries.

The combination of pedaling like a regular bicycle and judicious use of the motor can expand the range dramatically. “If you pedal and use the motor only for assistance, the range can be up to 400 miles between charges,” Tom said.

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