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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 11-09-13, 11:41 AM   #1
SesameCrunch
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New application for folding bikes - Electric cars

I recently made the conversion to carbon free transportation - solar panels and full electric car. I got a Chevy Spark - an amazing car! Not just environmentally friendly, but also 0-60 in 7.5 seconds!



One nice discovery is how well folding bike pairs with electric cars. The biggest downside of electric cars is range anxiety - the fear of being stuck without enough battery left to get home. So I plan my routes carefully and basically just use mine on my commute and other "known"routes. As a safety/backup, though, I carry my Brompton in the trunk also. Despite the teeny tiny trunk of the Spark, the Brompton fits in nicely. Having it there gives me some flexibility when I need to plug in away from home. I can ride to a cafe, or to a bus stop, or even just do a fun ride while waiting for the charge. This pairing takes away a big chunk of my anxiety about running out of charge. Like most insurance plans, I hope I never have to use it, but it's there if I do. I'm really thrilled about this.



I've been a long time folding bike rider, but this is a use-case I've not thought of or heard brought up before. Maybe we'll see more of this application!
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Old 11-09-13, 03:50 PM   #2
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Pairing the bike with the car is a brilliant idea. Nicely thought out.
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Old 11-09-13, 04:44 PM   #3
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Nice planning. How nice it would be if all cars/vehicles were electric. That's pretty decent acceleration for a small car like that. I remember my old Suzuki Samurai. It was so slow, I could time it with a sun dial.

By the way, how are you securing the bike in the back? You must be tying it down somehow otherwise it will be bouncing around.

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Old 11-10-13, 11:20 AM   #4
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By the way, how are you securing the bike in the back? You must be tying it down somehow otherwise it will be bouncing around.
Given how small the rear hatch area is, the bike is wedged in nicely between the rear seat and hatch door. The saddle takes and bike bag absorbs any movement perfectly. So, no need to tie it down.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:15 PM   #5
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There are problems with electric cars. One is obviously the range between charges which means also needing a conventional car for longer journeys. I live in a very hilly area where range will be tested even further. The price of the vehicles is very high and (with the Nissan Leaf) you can lease the battery - more expense. Also, if you do not have a garage or off street parking how are you supposed to charge the battery at home? I have to park my car on the street - often not even outside my own house - so charging would be impossible. Electric cars are still a pipe dream for most of us.
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Old 11-11-13, 02:10 AM   #6
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Diblasi R4 might fit that area better.
Great to see an earlier apodter in lowering co2.
Folding bikes make so much sence in many ocassions.
I spoke to a guy with an electric motor bike once. It worked really well for him. I don't know the model but the preformance was not an issue an all and the range was decent.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:10 PM   #7
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Diblasi R4 might fit that area better.
Great to see an earlier apodter in lowering co2.
Folding bikes make so much sence in many ocassions.
I spoke to a guy with an electric motor bike once. It worked really well for him. I don't know the model but the preformance was not an issue an all and the range was decent.
Speaking of electric bikes, I just saw this all-contained electric wheel, designed to fit onto any existing bike and turn them into an e-Bike. Seems like a great idea!

http://www.flykly.com/
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Old 11-11-13, 12:27 PM   #8
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... The price of the vehicles is very high and (with the Nissan Leaf) you can lease the battery - more expense. ...
It is even more expensive than it looks since it is heavily subsidized.

sesamecrunch, good to hear from you. Regarding the range anxiety, I would think that between the gps location, map, and fuel guage, the car has sufficient information to estimate the point of no return. Anybody did something like that?
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Old 11-11-13, 02:54 PM   #9
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Speaking of electric bikes, I just saw this all-contained electric wheel, designed to fit onto any existing bike and turn them into an e-Bike. Seems like a great idea!

http://www.flykly.com/
With regard to adding electric assistance to a Brompton I think this is the only and best option at the moment. I am still working on the page and need to add more about battery options.

http://bromptontalk.wikispaces.com/Electric+Assist

Pretty cheap if you have the necessary DIY skills, less so if you need to get someone to send/fit a complete kit.

IMHO its just not worth it unless you can keep it light and portable. The light conversion shown to my Ti Brompton brings the carry weight to only 11.5kg with the rest of the weight i.e. battery and electrics in the bag kept seperately for ease of carrying.

I have been using these setups for nearly 4 years and 6000 miles now on my daily 10 mile round commute.

Jerry

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Old 11-11-13, 02:58 PM   #10
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So if you run out of charge in the battery do you ride your bike to the nearest electricity store and fill up a can of electricity to bring back to the car?
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Old 11-11-13, 05:26 PM   #11
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So if you run out of charge in the battery do you ride your bike to the nearest electricity store and fill up a can of electricity to bring back to the car?
No you stand with your thumb out holding the battery.....
Electric cars are expensive because they are not big sellers yet, but that will change thanks to the OP and others who buy them
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Old 11-11-13, 06:54 PM   #12
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... and (with the Nissan Leaf) you can lease the battery - more expense...
No, you do not lease the battery with the Nissan Leaf. You either lease the entire vehicle or you buy it, same as with any other car. Here in the US (and more specifically in Portland, where Leaf sightings are multiple per-day occurrences now) I'm seeing lease deals of around $189-199/mo with a down payment, or $250/mo without a down payment. That's (unfortunately) towards the low end of even the economy segment these days, and even compared to a car fueled by "cheap" ($3-4/gallon) American gas the cost savings are huge when electricity goes for $0.08/kWh around here (and for an additional .01/kWh you can upgrade your juice to 100% renewable, non-fossil-fuel sourced).

So with cheaper EVs like the Spark (and I'm sure more to come) we are finally getting to the point where an EV is actually looking like lower TCO than even an entry-level gas-powered car. Of course that's for those people who can make an EV work ... they are not for everyone, but they are for SOME people, and isn't that the point? Personally I don't have offstreet parking either, and would have similar challenges to yours (although my next door neighbor has a Leaf and runs a cord across the sidewalk to charge his).

As for the range issue, well most of the people I know buying EVs are families with more than one car. They only need ONE of those cars to be highway-capable, so it's not been difficult to incorporate an EV into their lives for commuting purposes. Again, the point is not to replace ALL gas-powered cars, just the ones where it makes the most sense to do so.
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Old 11-11-13, 08:48 PM   #13
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Yup. Took my 26" Dahon folder into the bike shop the other day in my Mitsubishi iMiev. Bigger bike-- needs the back seats down, but I love it! Can't wait to get my tax rebate back in 2014!
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Old 11-11-13, 08:51 PM   #14
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No you stand with your thumb out holding the battery.....
Electric cars are expensive because they are not big sellers yet, but that will change thanks to the OP and others who buy them
My electric car: $29k minus $10k factory dealer cash - $7500 tax credit - $12,500.

Nissan made a better electric than Mitsubishi, so the triple diamond lopped a bunch of money off the price to move the 2012's off the lots.

That's pretty cheap. And from what I read on the boards, I'm paying the equivalent of $1.00/gallon for gas. Too busy to figure it out myself. Next step is Solar City for some no-fuss solar panels aimed south towards the beach.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:34 AM   #15
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My Mitsubishi.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:31 AM   #16
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Too bad the Brompton can't be fit in the rear hatch with the hatch cover.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:40 AM   #17
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You pay cash for the Car?
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Old 11-12-13, 11:44 AM   #18
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... $7500 tax credit ...
I am glad that we could help ;-)
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Old 11-12-13, 11:54 AM   #19
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You pay cash for the Car?
Ha, not me. I'm a school teacher.

The dealer cash or factory cash or whatever you want to call it is an incentive to the dealership. They do not have to offer it as a discount/rebate.... but once word is out, they kind of have to, even if they wish to repave their lots.

Basically, Nissan killed them in the market by putting out a better electric car at a roughly equal price. Mitsubishi could not move their poorly marketed iMievs, and had to knock a bunch off the price.
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Old 11-12-13, 12:00 PM   #20
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How bout sesame ? Twitter workers get a bonus out of the IPO?
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Old 11-12-13, 12:16 PM   #21
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No, you do not lease the battery with the Nissan Leaf.

You do in the UK.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:35 PM   #22
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You do in the UK.
Oh wow. Interesting. I suppose the economics of EVs may be very different in the UK than in the US.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:41 AM   #23
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You do in the UK.
This would be better/safer than purchase for a lot of reasons.

My garage is full of bikes and boats and wood working, and does not even have a driveway to reach it. So I charge my EV outside. It was 18 degrees and I got super home late last night-- my 110V plain house current charger didn't give it quite enough charge today. I have many other options to get to work - train, bike, my Previa -- but I wonder how it will be this winter in general.

It takes planning and sacrifice to go electric-- bicycling is the same. The benefits outweigh the sacrifices, though.
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Old 11-13-13, 02:25 PM   #24
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now ..you guys all start ordering at least 3 new bikes and ample parts all at the same time..maybe I could see a Tesla in my future
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Old 11-14-13, 11:23 AM   #25
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