UTM BikeShare, a student-run organization that loans bikes for personal use in collaboration with the UTM New Democratic Party club, introduced the e-bike on October 15. In conjunction with the launch, BikeShare allowed students to test drive the new motor-equipped bikes. The E-bike should bring attention to problems such as the environment, sustainability and economic efficiency, said UTM NDP President Andrew Hamilton-Smith.
Sean King, a representative of CelticBikes.com, the company responsible for the manufacturing of these electric bikes, said that the E-bike is for anybody who already rides a bike or who may not ride one because of age or other fitness issues. The electric bike is equipped with a durable 250W motor and is powered by a removable lightweight 36V lithium ion battery that can be charged approximately 500 times, averaging 40 to 50 kilometres per charge. The E-bike can also reach a top speed of approximately 30 kilometers per hour.
The E-bike comes equipped with three modes of functionality. Users can choose to pedal and use the E-bike as a normal bike with the six speed Shamino gears or they can use the pedal with assistance from the motor mode to help them along your journey. The third mode of the E-bike allows for full use of the throttle without any pedaling.
Mark Vas, a coordinator for the BikeShare Program at UTM, said that the E-bike is excellent for people who are new to bikes or for those with no energy left at the end of a long day.
Students took the E-bike for a test drive on Thursday in front of the Student Centre and most enjoyed the experience. The E-bike is pretty greatbecause it requires no pedaling. Too bad they start in the spring, said Salman Salat, a first-year life sciences student.
Even though the E-bike is motorized, King pointed out that it is treated as a normal bicycle by the Transport Ministry of Ontario and thus requires no license or insurance.
The E-bike is up for $1,650 from regular dealers. UTM students can purchase it for $999. Those who are interested in buying an E-bike or want to know more about it can contact Vas at the BikeShare office in front of the Student Centre.