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E-bikes on roll in South Africa’s major cities

Eco-friendly e-bikes are increasingly being spotted in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. (EPA/PATRICK SEEGER)

The zero-emission e-bike is making inroads in South Africa’s cities.

Helen Grange reports for IOL, a site published by a South African newspaper group, that plug-in bikes are increasingly being spotted in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The e-bike is gaining momentum as those cities add more bike lanes to encourage cycling as a commuting alternative to vehicles.

Cycology, a prominent e-bike retailer in Johannesburg, started selling two high-end versions last year, the article says. The retailer teamed with the Green Building Council SA and Solid Green Consulting on DeCongest, a campaign to encourage corporate participation. Companies are being urged to house recharging stations and lease bikes to employees.

Powered by lithium batteries, the bikes can be recharged overnight and travel more than 60 km (37 miles) on battery power. They can reach speeds of 32 kph (20 mph). They’re also quiet — a marked departure from the constant revving of motorcycle and moped engines prevalent in many developing cities.

Another advantage is that riders intent on getting exercise can operate the bikes the old-fashioned way: with pedals. 


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