Electric bikes gaining popularity in Hampton Roads

Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 16:25:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Electric bikes are gaining popularity on streets around Hampton Roads.

A charged battery can last between 45 and 60 miles and the motor makes them easier to ride, especially uphill.

Electric bikes are like riding a regular bike, but they feel like a gentle breeze is pushing you, giving you a boost.

You can go much faster than you normally would.

“We see e-bikes growing at an exponential rate right now,” said Amy Oliver, owner of Pedego Norfolk.

Oliver and her husband, Kevin, didn’t know about electric bikes until they went to California for a wedding.

“We were looking for something fun to do,” said Oliver. “It was a great day of the trip for kids, adults and grandparents. We could all hang out together and have a great time.

They did research then opened the only Pedego location in the region.

There are 150 stores like it around the country.

You can buy, rent or get service for the motorized bike.

“I see electric bikes as a new form of transportation to reduce our carbon footprint in our community,” said Oliver.

Related: Lime scooters hit the streets in Norfolk

The motor kicks on as soon as you start paddling; you can also use the throttle. The bike goes up to 20 miles an hour.

According to the group NPD Retail Tracking Service, e-bikes are the fastest-growing bicycle type in the market.

They said e-bike sales totaled $77.1 million in 2017, up 91% over the previous year.

Every Saturday, there’s a group ride at 8:45 a.m. from Pedego Norfolk store location at 223 E. East City Hall Ave in Norfolk.

They said they ask for a $10 donation that goes to the Elizabeth River Foundation.

On Saturday, July 27, Pedego founder and CEO Don DiCostanzo is coming to the Norfolk location for the store’s commissioning between 3-5:30 p.m. There will be free test rides, a group ride, raffles and prizes.