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Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Joe-Go Electric Bicycle - Prima Power Bikes
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Electric Pedal Assist Cycling

As more cities follow the example set by the Hague in the Netherlands and now Nice in France of having dedicated bicycle paths for their inhabitants to use for commuting to work and also leisure, the number of available bicycle models and manufacturers has also been rising. This year has seen a significant increase in the availability of electric pedal assist cycles offered for sale. One of the new entrants in this category is the 'Joe-Go' bicycle by Prima Power Bikes of Turate, Italy.

Electric Pedal Assist Cycles are like regular bicycles but with the addition of an electric drive motor in the front hub to provide assist power to the cyclist, and also a battery for energy storage. On some models there is regenerative braking that charges the battery when you decelerate. The cycle's battery is fully charged using plug-in capability from the electricity grid or by a solar panel mounted at home. The electric pedal assistance is usually delivered in eco, normal and boost power settings, allowing the cyclist to adjust the degree of assistance provided by the electric hub motor.

The European Union has limited the maximum speed of Electric Pedal Assist Cycles to 25 km/h (15.6 mph) - EU Law. When bicycle paths are installed through a major city, these bicycles start to become efficient transportation for daily commutes to work and for leisure activities. In fact, the future may see 'car' parks created just for secure bicycle parking in major cities for people who commute by this means.

Prima Power Bikes offers five models of electric pedal assist cycles with the Joe-Go being one of these. The Joe-Go has integrated bodywork that establishes a new look for the electric assist cycle. It has three power assist levels (Eco, Normal, Boost) and a brushless electric motor in the front hub that is rated at 250 watts. An electronic dashboard is mounted on the handlebars indicating the battery condition and providing power control settings. The Joe-Go's top speed is limited at 25 km/h (16.6 mph) per EU law and the cycle's range is up to 50 km (31.3 miles) in 'Eco' mode. The 'Boost' level provides excellent hill climbing assistance, and makes the cycle ideal for a regular commute that involves steep hills. The Joe-Go comes with NiMH batteries (nickel metal hydride) and comes standard with regenerative braking to charge the battery during stopping manoeuvres.

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