The island’s sole bike retailer is now selling electric bicycles, also known as “e-bikes”.
The two wheelers look and run just like push bikes, but also have an electric motor. Depending on the motor, e-bikes can travel under their own power from 20 - 45km.
They range from models with a small motor to assist the rider’s pedal-power to more powerful e-bikes that function in much the same way as a moped (light motorcycle) and all can be pedalled just like a conventional bicycle.
E-bikes use rechargeable batteries that can easily be removed and charged indoors. And while they are not a new concept on the island, they haven’t previously been easily available.
Because they run on electricity they produce no pollutants, meaning they’re much kinder than motorcycles to Rarotonga’s waterways and lagoons.
E-bikes are also claimed to have a minimal manufacturing footprint when compared to vehicles or motorbikes and can be produced for a fraction of the price, materials, energy and shipping costs of a car or motorcycle.
Ride Rarotonga manager, Steele Koronui, reckons the bikes are a great asset to the island.
“People often worry that riding a bicycle to work will take too long, but with the e-bike, commuters can get to work just as fast as they can on a motorbike. These bikes are able to travel at up to 40km, which is the average speed limit for motorcycles on the island’s roads.”
Koronui says choosing a bicycle as your mode of daily transport is not only good for your physical and mental wellbeing, but kind to the environment too.
“Everyone here loves the environment, tourists admire the beauty of our paradise and locals strive to care for their country. Owning an e-bike allows you to make your own contribution to protecting the environment.”