To comply with many states' legal requirements for electric bikes, electric bicycles often limited to a top speed of 20 mph. The handbuilt, $5500 Optibike Electric Bike, however, has a top speed of 45 mph with an electric motor to assist while you pedal.
The Optibike competed against hybrid cars in the 2006 Tour de Sol last month. “We wanted to demonstrate how an electric bicycle is an alternative to an automobile and is infinitely more efficient than even a hybrid car. I rode 103 miles in 4 hours in the pouring rain across upstate New York and only used about $0.15 worth of wind generated electricity”, said Optibike creator Craig Weakley.
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