By Brian Clark Howard
Try a power-assisted bicycle, a bike primarily run by pedal power with some motorized help. The intent is to boost human power, not replace it. These bikes are growing in popularity and are especially useful for short trips around town and to run errands. Power assistance can be in the form of an electric motor (an E-bike
, the most popular), a gas engine (an ICE, or internal combustion engine) and hydrogen-powered fuel cells
(on the horizon). E-bikes have a limited range of 15-20 miles, but the motor, generally run on rechargeable batteries, is silent and doesn't give off any emissions. ICE bikes have a longer range and easier refueling, but because they don't have a catalytic converter, can be more polluting than an automobile. Bikes whose assisted power can only be activated by pedaling are called PEDELECs, while others have "power on demand" that is activated by a throttle on the handlebars.