Electric Bicycles, a fun new mode of transportation
According to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) an electric assisted bicycle (VAE) or an electric bike is equipped with an electric motor not exceeding 500 watts and a rechargeable battery. The bikes must be able to be pedaled like a classic bike when the electric motor is not in use.
“It is a healthy way to get outside and get physical activity,” said Eric Thibault, owner of e-Cycliste in Aylmer. “Many studies have shown that it can improve physical and mental health. We’ve even had clients with pacemakers who need a bike that will require less effort on hills. It is a more accessible option for those with various levels of fitness and ability.”
Thibault notes that before buying an electric bike, consumers need to consider whether they will use the bike for transportation or recreation. Consumers should think about comfort, the range on one charge they wish to have and how much they value the look of the bike The weight of the bike only becomes important if you need to transport it easily. Quality bikes range in price from $2,000 to $10,000 for bikes with more features.
Although electric bicycles can get expensive, Thibault highlights, that if the individual is using it often to run errands, to travel to and from work, and for recreation, the bike quickly pays for itself, especially considering the price of gas at the moment.
Individuals interested in electric bicycles can visit e-Cycliste, located at 138 rue Principale, for a consultation and test ride.