Perth cyclists in electric revolution
Kent Acott and Timothy Roberts
Today marks the start of an electric-bike revolution.
New regulations that will bring WA into line with other States - and most other bike-friendly countries - came into force yesterday, allowing bikes to operate with a maximum power output of 250 watts, up from 200 watts. E-bike sales in Australia have surged in recent years, from 11,000 in 2011 to 36,000 in 2013. Sales are now expected to boom in WA because of the new laws. During a recent visit to Perth, Dutch cycling expert Arie Vijfhuizen said the new laws would change the face of WA cycling.
One in three bikes sold in the Netherlands is electric, as more people seek to use them for longer journeys. "They have got sexier and cheaper and more people want to use them," Mr Vijfhuizen said. The bikes still require the rider to pedal, with the motor providing "assistance".
Cycling Promotion Fund general manager Peter Bourke said the law changes would introduce a whole new audience to riding. "The changes will open our market to an enormous range of e-bikes currently produced for the European market," he said.
Perth Electric Bike Centre joint managing director Nathan Reizer said the new regulations would get more people out on bikes - people of all ages, people who were not as fast as their partners or people who wanted to carry children around. "The things that most people hate about cycling are headwinds and hills - electric bikes get rid of these issues," he said.
Source: The West Australian