Dunedin AvantiPlus bike mechanic Mac Robertson tests the eZee electric bike up Baldwin St in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Even though the climb by AvantiPlus bike mechanic Mac
Robertson (50) was aided by an electric motor, Chinese
travellers clapped as he motored up Baldwin St.
The torque from the electric drive on the eZee bike started
the front-wheel spinning half-way up the street, making Mr
Robertson stand up and pedal to put weight over the front
wheel and gain enough traction to complete the feat.
''I'm puffing, but I'd be dead if I didn't have a motor,'' he
Mr Robertson said he had demonstrated the bike to ''six
bigwigs'' at the Dunedin City Council earlier this year.
Electric Bike Hub owner Jace Hobbs (58) said Wellington Mayor
Celia Wade-Brown owned an eZee bike. He distributes the brand
throughout New Zealand, from Nelson.
However, the Wellington City Council and Dunedin City Council
had not bought any bikes.
But councils in Palmerston North, Hamilton, New Plymouth and
Auckland all had fleets of the electric bikes for deliveries
The bike fleet allowed the council in New Plymouth to get rid
of five cars, he said.
The bikes cost from $2400 to $2900 and to fully charge the
battery used about 15c worth of electricity, he said.
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis said he tested the
''marvellous'' bike on Baldwin St yesterday.
The bikes would be perfect for parking enforcement officers
in Dunedin because bikes would be easier to maintain than
Motorists would also find it easier to accept a fine from an
officer on an electric bike than on a motorcycle, he said.
On the bike, he reached speeds of 28kmh on flat land using
the electric motor and pedal power.
Electric bikes would be an important part of the future
transport mix in Dunedin but safety was an issue. More
bike-friendly lanes were needed in Dunedin to encourage
cyclists, he said.