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Ford takes hybrid plunge with electric-powered mountain bike

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/12/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

New bicycle part of iconic auto maker's pledge to transportation of the future

As part of its goal to put more lower-emission vehicles on the road, the Ford Motor Company has struck a deal with the California-based electric bicycle company Pedego: a battery-powered mountain bike.

The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

Highlights

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/12/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Pedego, electric bike, Ford Motor Company


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

Executive Chairman Bill Ford says he has encouraged the company to re-imagine the future of transportation.

St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, is honored in this beautiful Sterling Silver Square.

Don DiCostanzo (left), CEO/co-founder, and Terry Sherry, CFO/co-founder, of Pedego Electric Bikes.

Don DiCostanzo (left), CEO/co-founder, and Terry Sherry, CFO/co-founder, of Pedego Electric Bikes.


"He has tasked us with looking into the future, and how we're going to make sustainable products and be profitable," Erica Klampfl, the company's Future Mobility manager says. "We can no longer just think about being an automotive product company."

A Ford representative approached Pedego two years ago and asked the company to build a bike.

Beginning in 2006, Pedego Electric Bikes co-founder Don DiCostanzo bought an electric bike so he wouldn't have to pedal uphill on his way back from the beach. Dissatisfied with his purchase, he built his own.

Forming the Pedego company in 2009 with his former college roommate Terry Sherry, both DiCostanzo and Sherry were also fraternity brothers and best men at each other's weddings. Operating from a single shop in Newport Beach, California, Pedego eventually became the largest electric bike retailer in the U.S.

Pedego to date has sold more than 20,000 electric bikes, about 80 percent of them in the U.S., half of those in the state of California.

The plug-in electric bikes sell for about $2,000 to $3,000. The Ford Super Cruiser is $3,695. Designed in Irvine, the bikes are pre-assembled in China from parts built there and elsewhere in Asia. The bikes are then finished in California. The City Commuter brand, DiConstanzo said, is the company's best seller.

Riders can use a "throttle" to make the bikes roll at speeds up to 20 miles per hour, or can use a combination of pedal and throttle to extend the range.

DiCostanzo says he thinks an electric bicycle is the "gateway drug" to an electric car. The Ford deal, he says is another way to market the bikes. Marketing is the company's biggest challenge. Traditional bike riders have treated the electric bike segment with suspicion, or worse.

"They think it's breaking the rules, like somehow we're cheating or something," DiCostanzo said.

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