Choppering the fuel bill
AS fuel prices head skyward to a predicted $2 a litre, Gympie couple Luke Mancell and Karen Jackson have found a fun, cheap way to get around town.
The pair has purchased twin electric chopper bicycles – and uses them to run daily errands in downtown Gympie.
Mr Mancell said the choppers cost hardly anything to run.
“They don’t seem to add anything to our power bill – and fully charged, have a range of about 20km.
“It easily does the 5km each way from Southside into town.”
The bikes are powered by two 36 volt batteries, putting out about 190 watts of power.
Queensland Transport allows electric bikes to be powered up to 200 watts.
Any bike with more than 200 watts of power needs to be registered as if it were a motorbike – and meet Australian design standards.
The rider also needs to have a motorbike licence and third party insurance.
Luckily, these rules don’t apply to bikes with less than 200 watts of power – they are treated just like any other push bike.
This makes them a very cheap mode of transport.
Mr Mancell said the bike would propel itself without pedalling, but the battery lasted longer if the rider pedalled, to help power the bike.
A grip throttle on the handlebars is rotated to engage power and is automatically turned off when the brakes are applied.
“It is a fun way to get around – it saves money and is environmentally friendly,” Mr Mancell said.
“After a bad day at work, it puts a smile on your face.”