KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Electric cars are big in Hawaii. Could electric bicycles be next?
Mark Librie, owner of Pedego Kailua, thinks so.
"I will guarantee within 30 seconds of riding these, you'll have the biggest smile on your face" he touted.
The bicycles operate on a simple premise; they can be pedaled like a traditional bicycle, or powered by an electric battery via a throttle, similar to a motorcycle. Some models have a power-assist mode, which supplements some rider energy with battery power.
The engine is self contained in the rear wheel, and is independent of the pedal chain. That means the pedals do not spin when the bike is being powered by the battery.
An additional benefit of the e-bikes, is that they are zoned like traditional ones.
"They're not considered bikes with motors, so you can ride them in the bike lanes, and so just like any other bicycle, they're under the same laws" said Librie.
The batteries are also quite powerful.
"The electric bikes go the same speed as the road bikes do. You see these guys, they're all tucked and they're pedaling going 20-25 miles per hour, you can do that on your cruiser bike".
Battery life is determined by a number of factors, but they take only five hours to charge in a traditional outlet at home.
The bicycles are pricey, as they sell for two to three thousand dollars apiece. However, at Pedego, customers can rent them for around $35 for two hours.