The electric bicycle is the leading example of a whole class of Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) being developed. They're clean, quiet, and efficient. Like a car, LEVs provide the user with point-to-point transportation. Designed for one person and a small amount of cargo, their range, speed, and cost are moderate. For 10% of the price of a car, an LEV can provide 50+% of the utility. LEVs use current technologies to create better transportation.
Ultimately, fully enclosed LEVs will be common. In addition to standards like radio and heater, they'll have cargo room for four bags of groceries. The rider will sit in a slightly reclining position, as recumbent cyclists do today. Surrounding the rider a light weight, but resilient, "bubble" will provide protection from the elements and crashes. Sophisticated security systems will inhibit thieves. High performance will enable them to use freeways and cover distances up to 60 miles. (How about a "60/60" industry standard that guarantees a full 60 mph for 60 minutes?)
LEVs will become part of our lives as we discover more uses for them than currently imagined. Today's LEV, the electric bike, can be used by most family members, making daily use likely. Can you imagine a better gift for the whole family?
LEVs may spread rapidly. The World Wide Web enables you and others to discover and share new, "green" products with ease. The Web is truly a "power to the people" technology. So are LEVs. (See benefits.) This human-scale technology could sweep the country through the enthusiastic endorsement of early adopters. Having read this far, you are likely an early adopter, that is, a person who can see the health, economic, and environmental possibilities.
A multi-page manifesto, or "public declaration of intention", lays out the basic ideas, reasoning, and possible futures of this new industry.
A short scenario shows how an electric bike might actually work in your life.
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