Gas or Electric, Which is most Popular?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by biknut, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Before a year ago I probably would have said gas hands down. Now I'm not so sure.

    Compare our motorbicycling.com zee map to the Sondors eBike zee map which only represents one brand of electric bicycle, and is only one year old. Sort of eye opening isn't it?

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  2. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    The e-bikes are definitely more popular among urban apartment dwellers. Petro still dominates rural areas.
    Prices of lipo batteries are coming down, but very slowly.
     
  3. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    Here in the Phoenix desert gas is way more popular than electric.
    The heat kills batteries, gas is cheap, and everything is spread out.
     
  4. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Way more? You might be surprised my friend.

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  5. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

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    That map doesn't show everbody with a gas bike on it so it really isn't an accurate example of the quantity of gas bikers in this country. But, when it comes down to it, these kits really aren't that popular gas or electric and the sonders isn't a kit so yeah he sold a bunch of bikes so what. So did Ezip, at wall mart and academy, remember? Cheap and easy wins.
     
  6. 16v4nrbrgr

    16v4nrbrgr New Member

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    The motor bicycling map only shows members who volunteered to pin their location, the reality is that that map would be 10x populated if it was mandatory to sign up to the site.

    Electric bikes will sell themselves when the batteries come down in cost so that they don't equate to 50+ percent of the cost of the bike. When the price of a 1Kw motor kit plus battery pack is less than $300, then people will not need to be convinced to purchase them, and they will begin to replace the position that engine kits currently fill.

    Comparing electric to gas is like comparing apples to oranges at this point in time, since in their current form they appeal to different market segments, rider expectations, and type pf use. When electrics can meet all design objectives of power AND range AND cost AND ease of use, they will be a more appealing product than a gas conversion to most people who don't have a preference for gas engine feel and sound.

    One thing that continues to be a concern with electric appliances using lithium batteries is the ever present risk of fire. Amazon pulled most of the hover boards from their site due to batteries causing fire hazards in many cases. These battery packs are very similar to those sold for bikes. LiFePO4 batteries are way safer than Lithium polymer batteries, but still contain flammable electrolyte which can catch fire or explode if too much current flows through the pack and it overheats or has dielectric breakdown. It's still advisable to change batteries under supervision in a fire proof container, and be careful not to over charge or discharge, as well as limiting peak current draw to the recommended C rating of the battery for max cycles. This can mean that you need a high capacity pack with a high C rating for a high power motor, which can be done with a high Ah battery or by using high voltages like 72v or more and limiting peak current. The drawback being cost, the pack that I want to use to power a bike of at least 1500w peak would cost at least $600 for the cheapest pack with BMS shipped directly from overseas. I wish the reality was more fortunate, but I remain patient for the eventuality that battery technology catches up to the rest of the electric bike and make them viable for everyone, on any budget.
     
  7. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    The same is true of the Sondors map too. In addition, how many years old is the our map, compared to the 1 year old Sondors map? Taking into account the short lifespan of a china girl, its reasonable to assume many are now nonexistent, but most if not all of the Sondors are still on the road.

    Another consideration is, this Sondors map is from the Sondors owners group which only represents 3700 owners out of more than 10,000 total owners, and not all of the 3700 pinned the map.

    Of course neither map is scientific, but I think the results are very surprising at the least, and good evidence that there's a lot of eBikes out there.

    Taking all this into consideration, plus the fact that this is just Sondors brand. There's still Pedego, Easy Motion, iZip, Prodeco, Stromer, and a dozen other brands, plus all the home built.

    Here in Dallas going back over 5 years, I've seen more electric bicycles in the last year, than all the gas bicycles total.

    Bicycles are the most viable electric vehicle so far, and battery prices, and battery safety aren't much of a barrier these days.

    I think it's safe to say the day of the electric bicycle is upon us.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    If you want some laughs go back and look at some of my early posts about electric bikes on this forum. I used to give electric bikes **** LOL. Times have changed.
     
  9. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    Umm, no surprises here, I know first hand what people want in the desert, and it's gas, specifically 4-stroke regular gas.

    I did my thing with 2-strokes, I did my thing with electrics and love them, but I have settled on 4-stroke as the hands down best option for reliable transportation in our heat.

    You know spring was only a week or two long in February this year?
    It gets over 80F every day and setting records with 90F expected again this week.

    The only thing heat won't kill is 4-stroke gas as it has oil in the engine to help cool it.

    Batteries hate heat even more than 2-strokes.

    Just saying from experience I love electrics, but best live in a mild summer climate if you want to enjoy them is all.





     
  10. 16v4nrbrgr

    16v4nrbrgr New Member

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    That's true, lithium chemistry batteries work best in a temperate climate, if they get cold it slows down the chemical reaction and lowers their peak discharge, like a dead car battery after a sub zero night. AGM batteries might work okay in hot temperatures like in AZ, but they still suffer from slow cold discharge. They also weigh too much for bicycles, my lil razor dirt bike is 120 lbs with 5 12v 10ah SLA AGM batteries, but at least I can afford the pack at $100, and it won't catch fire. I still don't trust any of those shrink wrapped packs made for bikes out of knockoff 18650 cells soldered together, if it craps out you lose your "fuel" investment, and if you abuse it or there is a manufacturing defect the battery can malfunction or cause a fire hazard. I think if I go about making an electric bike using Lithium batteries, I will probably use a series chain of 12v automotive deep cycle LiFePO4 direct replacement batteries, so if one get messed up or has balance issues, it won't munch a whole $600 battery pack. I just can't justify the risk inherent in purchasing an expensive battery pack at this point, the news about hover boards catching fire leads me to believe that the batteries are of unknown varying levels of quality, the knockoff Samsung cells being a major issue with the common shrink wrapped or vinyl wrapped packs.

    In short, electric motors used within operating voltage specs are bulletproof, controllers are as good as you pay for. Electric bike and scooter batteries are the new Happy Time - Unknown levels or quality control, with spec sheets which should be taken with a grain of salt. User experiences and results vary widely depending on manufacturer and individual unit. Unfortunately if you get a bad one, the only hope is to try to claim a warranty if still valid, or tear the pack open and start replacing dead cells, which are spot welded to the bus bars usually.
     
    #10 16v4nrbrgr, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  11. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    I'll let you guys know if anyone reports their battery's dying this summer.

    Dallas isn't exactly a slouch in the heat department either. I'm going on my third summer myself.
     

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