Photo by Yours Truly
If you’re looking for a vehicle that has the heart of a bicycle and the soul of a scooter – do I have the thing for you! The A2B by Ultra Motor is a Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) that addresses the need for zero-emission transportation while offering high torque pickup, extended range and reliability. I stumbled upon it at EcoFocus, the new press showcase event by Pepcom highlighting green design & technologies. The next day I was able to take it for a test drive at Vespa Soho in New York City. I wasn’t sure what I would think about the LEV. At first glance, it looks like a slightly overweight bike. It’s designed for urban or suburban commutes. The frame is a TIG welded 6061 aluminum body which makes it around 70 pounds (32 kg) in weight . The battery and motor are incorporated into the design so the bike looks like a bike – and not like a bike that had the bright idea of an electric motor after-the-fact. I rode a white one, but you have four colors to choose from (silver, white, blue and black).
No Driver's License Required
There’s no need for a driver’s license with this LEV as I was informed during my test drive. If a vehicles has an engine smaller than 750 watts and a maximum speed of 20 mph or less (which the A2B easily meets), no driver’s test or classes are required…at least in most places. It’s a good idea to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to be a 100%.
The bike comes with one battery installed that will provide up to 20 miles of travel with an option to add another battery that will double the traveling potential. The battery takes about 3.5 hours to charge and can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. I thought the weight would be an issue especially up hills or on the open road. During my test drive, I happily found the opposite was true. I started pedaling on a slight incline with no problem and continued upward for a few hundred feet. Plus with a little gas (or electricity in this case), I surmounted the hill with no effort at all.
Photo by Yours Truly
For the Green GearHead in You
The A2B is unique in a couple of ways: first it is one of the only (it might be the only) electric power-on-demand bicycle on the market today. The throttle is on the right handlebar just like a motorcycle. The oversized comfort saddle puts you a bit higher than a standard two-wheeler which provided me a little more of an ability to navigate through traffic. Along with the higher seat, the A2B has full suspension so the ride is smooth even over potholes. The front suspension is an Ultra Motor shock-absorbing front fork (80mm travel) while the rear is a shock-absorbing swing arm (150mm travel).
Other features include a lithium ion battery, two 20 x 3.0 Kenda Kraze tires, and Avid BB5 disc brakes on the front and back. There are 250 dealers across the United States – so you don’t have to live in New York City to take one for a test drive. At around $2,699.00, I would need to save up to buy one, but I think it’s worth the scratch. If you wanna be a trendsetter and eco-friendly, this bike is for you. Plus, it’s a super fun ride with easy mobility and high performance - what else could you ask for?
More about Electric Vehicles and Bicycles:
Solar Powered Electric Bicycle. Now We're Talking
World's Most Energy Efficient Vehicle? A Bicycle
Schwinn's New Line of Electric Bikes
17 Electric Cars You Must Know About