AFTER a very slow start several years ago the electric car market in the UK is growing rapidly and most major manufacturers have an electric model in their line-up including the impressive BMW i3 and now the wind of change even includes much improved electric cycles and electric motor cycles.
One of the biggest problems with modern electric cars when they first appeared was their limited mileage range which produced the "range anxiety" phrase that I was very well aware of when driving my first electric test car especially in winter when more electrical kit is being used that further reduces the battery mileage.
But the latest breed of electric cars have improved tremendously and while they are still rather pricey their range has improved with some models capable of over 300 miles and there are now seven seater models available which further illustrates the growing popularity of electric power in the car world.
Like many motorists I have also been very interested in electric bikes and clearly remember the first time I road tested one for a travel feature and recall that it was rather heavy and expensive and still required plenty of pedalling up the hill to my local pub.
Many motoring colleagues and friends often keep a bike in the rear load area to assist with their commute and exercise routines but a new development in the biking world could revolutionise pedal cycling and make it much easier to get around on two wheels.
It features a front wheel with an electric motor in the centre with an electric power pack between the handlebars and can be fitted to any size of wheel making electric bikes available to millions of cyclists for £250 which is a lot less than buying an electric bike.
It can be easily fitted to any size of bike in 10 minutes and takes the hard work out of cycling producing a top speed of 15mph and it only takes seconds to switch from electric motor to pedal power.
The power unit connects automatically when it is clipped on so there is no need to plug or unplug any cables and the lightweight battery pack also controls electronics, user display, front bike light and there is even a USB output to charge other devices.
Swytch Technology has created two e-bike conversion kits, one with a 25 mile range and three to four hour charge time and one with a 50 mile range and five to six hours charge time.
Industry reports show the e-bike market is currently dominated by older customers with 70 per cent of electric bikes being purchased by the over 50s who appreciate an electric motor making their cycling much easier especially when hills are involved.
It is anticipated that the new lightweight e-bike conversion which is very affordable and so easy to fit to any type of bike is set to take the cycling sector by storm making electric bikes accessible to millions of cyclists.
There is now no doubt whatsoever that the electric wind of change is not only blowing across the car industry but is also involving bikes and I believe that this versatile reasonably priced easy to fit device will attract many more people to the world of cycling. Verdict: Electric power takes off for bikes and cars.