AB1096 a new bill in the California Assembly is about to kill the electric bicycle industry long term for the short term profits of niche ebike pedal assist manufacturers. Now before I go any further, let me explain who and what they are, their products and so forth.
Electric bicycles are an industry still in its infancy and there are several flavors to them. When we think of electric bikes we think of the twist throttle and off you go and that is actually the bulk industry for now. But on the small niche side with weak sales are the slow bikes mainly that require pedal assist. The niche market in this case accounts for about 5% of all ebike sales, as most ebike purchasers spend their dollars on a fast twist throttle bike with range and speed. This is what the market dictates. Unhappy with their sloping sales of niche bikes, the sparse manufacturers of these slow pedal only bikes wants to corner the market and own it for mainly their own products. They are doing this to mainly kill the bulk ebike marketplace for their own short term financial gains. Here, let me show you what types of products I am talking about.
$3500.00 for the average Pedal Assist bicycle. Maximum speed about 20mph, range with pedaling about 12 to 15 miles.
What you notice is that in the video above this is mainly sports equipment more than it is viable transportation. It won’t necessarily replace a car on the road, but there are bikes that can, some are not super fast and some are. These are essentially throttle bikes. Many have a pedal assist option as well, something to note here. Let us see one in action. A slower throttle bike.
The next bike is still a slower throttle ebike with pedal assist.
Now let us see something far more serious that is legal where it is being used as serious transportation. These bikes can travel with cars.
Notice that in other countries this is legal, in California which proclaims itself the greenest state in green America, you are a criminal for riding this. Just a point to note but it is gonna get much worse now, I’ll explain.
So Currie Technologies a niche ebike manufacturer with slumping sales had decided that since Sacramento is so corrupted, let us get a bill to an assemblyman who will pass it on our behalf. What will our bill AB1096 do?
Well for starters it will ban off-road hi-speed electric bicycles thus killing our competition for fast built American ebikes like Hipower Cycles for example. Here, take a look at just one innovative product HiPower Cycles has made for mainly off road usage.
That’s right off-road ebikes killed by its competitor thru a corrupted California State Assemblyman ‘David Chiu’ (God Bless Me) and it gets worse. Boy oh boy, if I ever needed a Kleenex to wipe the political snot, it sure was now. So here is what the bill does. It clutters up the ebike code creaters tiers of ebike types, allows Curries products exclusive usage of all bicycle paths like pedal bikes, bans all other typs from bike paths and for faster electric bicycles states they must use a small motor and ride in traffic on the street pavement with cars at no more than 20MPH. 20 miles per hour in front of car drivers on the street since they will be banned even from bike lanes, are you frigging kidding me?
This bill will create road rage with motorists and get ebikers killed. It doesn’t stop there folks, oh no.
The bill also criminalizes all current legal ebikes that have a 1kw motor and can be forced to a 20mph speed limit, yes you heard me right. Through a brand new manufacturers only sticker program if an ebike does not have that sticker it is ILLEGAL!!! So if you bought a kit and built your own or upgraded an older ebike to a 1kw setup it is effectively OUTLAWED and you are a CRIMINAL for riding a ZERO polluting electric bicycle. This is what Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu (God Bless Me) and to a lesser extent another assemblyman Republican Matthew Harper are behind and pushing and why? Because the zero polluting ebike industry which is struggling already and still in its infancy must have a company like Currie come in and buy legislation to protect their business interests short term against the environment, transportation and a free open competitive market place and this is what AB1096 does.
So okay, Currie is committing suicide on itself long term with this shopped around bill to soon become law. Actually Currie is also killing the entire ebike industry at least in the case of the greenest state of them all, ‘California.’ How? Great question.
Let us look at the bigger picture here. Why does anyone need to buy an electric bicycle versus other types of transportation? Electric bikes are expensive. On average expect to spend thousands for one pedal assist or throttle. They require average charge times of about 3 to 6 hours. They have on average a 10 to 20 mile range, they can go no faster than 20mph on the street with me so far? Now let us look at Gasoline powered bikes.
A gasoline powered bicycle can have up to a 48cc motor, is rewarded with up to 30MPH road speeds, takes less than 3 minutes to tank up half a gallon of gasoline at any service station, has a range of 125miles per half tank of gasoline. Cost, a Beach Cruiser $100.00 and a full engine kit about $260.00 for a grand total of $360.00 And it gets even worse for EBike owners or potential owners.
Carbon pedal bikes. Lightweight, they can get a cyclist pedaling with a Carbon full frame and about 30gear speeds up to nearly 50MPH and have an endless range as well, as long as you can pedal them. Cost between $350.00 for cheaper ones to $11,00.00 dollars and up.
Electric Motorcycles. Range 125 miles per charge, charging time about 2 hours, cost about $8,000 on up.
Traditional Motorcycle about $5000.00 for a basic cruiser model, Harley’s are more 😉
Small car, prices vary. You can find a small old clunker for as little as $500.00
So the basic question is why would many folks want to spend a grand or more for an electric bicycle and thus lies the bigger scheme of things. Instead of killing an industry on near life support for the benefit of a few niche market companies, what is seriously needed here is what I proposed to the State and also the City of Los Angeles. Open all bike paths and bike lanes regardless of ebike motor size or top speed. Regulate the riding places with a speed limit sign for all cyclists. Much like a Corvette is allowed to ride in a 35mph zone same deal for bikes. Allow ebikes for off road and trail usage, better than polluting gas powered bikes.
Unfortunately AB1096 if it has not, will pass and you can blame corruption for killing more of the environment creating more road congestion, causing more costs per road repair and especially blame Currie and David Chiu (God Bless Me) for any street deaths of electric bike cyclists who were forced onto the street to fall victim of car driver’s with road rage when they obeyed this corrupted and very dangerous and destructive self serving law paid for by a small niche manufacturer of ebike pedal assist bicycles.
There is no grandfather law in this to protect those who legally invested in and complied with the state laws before this bill passed which it has as of April 29th where it goes to the senate. The state of California will also issue special stickers to specified manufacturers of slow ebikes in California. Any ebike not having a sticker will be come criminalized contraband subject to confiscation. The great conflict of interest in killing a statewide free market, future technologies and limiting customers to choices is because of the CEO of Currie Technologies buying the state of California to do what his company and that of other struggling pedal-assist only and slow ebikes are finding in the free market so they got this assemblyman to regulate the marketplace in my estimation for their corporate profits including against green actual real transportation. This is raw naked government corruption at its finest where everyone suffers for the benefit of a very few.
In my estimation, any electric bike cyclist who is injured should immediately sue Currie Technologies, their CEO, his cycling committee and demand that corrupted State Assemblymen like Matthew Harper and David Chiu (God Bless Me) are swept from power on corruption charges and face jail time for murder charges of those cyclists…It’s best for the green environment!