The PiCycle is an intriguing electric hybrid bike. We covered it previously when it was called Electrobike, and launched for the bargain basement price of $7,500 USD. Things have changed quite a bit in the past two years, particularly with regard to the price -- it's lost $5,000!, Yep, the PiCycle, as it now known, goes for $2,500. You have three option of riding the Pi: just like a bicycle under pedal power, completely under electric propulsion, or pedal with electric-assist.
Where's the battery? Hiding in the rather fetching arched monocoque aluminium frame.
Now, obviously even with the vastly better price, a Pi isn't going to be for everyone. and may be scoffed at by diehard cyclists. But for those well heeled amongst us who don't have need of owning a car or a motorcycle, this might be a very appropriate form of personal transport.
Marcus Hays' (above) PiMobility company calculates that the PiCycle will carry its rider for 48 to 80 km (30 to 50 miles) on a 3.5 hour changing of the bike's Lithion-ion battery. During which time speeds of up to 30 mph could be attained, although legal speed limit for electric bicycles in most states is 20 mph.
Furthermore, they figure that the US-made PiCycle generates only 91 kg (200 lbs) of carbon dioxide during manufacturing. And during its use, should achieve the equivalent (MPGe) of 1,250 mpg. That's a mere 0.19 litres per 100 km for us metric types. So the upfront cost might cause some sticker shock, but the year on year running costs appear to be next to negligible.
Before you rush out to buy one, watch the Los Angeles Time video, where reporter Susan Carpenter puts the PiCycle through its paces and makes some salient observations.
If you have an even fatter wallet, you could plump for the PiCycle Limited, or the electric only PiMoto (below). Lots more details and umpteen videos (albeit not overly informative ones) on the PiMobility website.
As we said -- when we nominated the Best Electric-Assist Bike in our Best of Green: Cars & Transportation slideshow -- the Pi is hard to beat for sheer pizzazz. if nothing else it will alert folk to the possibility that an electric-assist bicycle could make a sound car alternative, assuming they are charging with GreenPower.