I wasn’t sure what to expect when my editor asked if I wanted to report on an electric bicycle.
I had never actually seen one before, much less ridden one. In my mind, the term conjured up an image of the standard slim, pedal-it-yourself type equipment but with, well, electricity. Maybe it would move a little faster or plug in at night or something.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
The only reason why Niko Klansek’s FlyKly is called a “bicycle” is because it doesn’t exceed 20 miles per hour, which means you don’t need a driver’s license to use it. But Klansek’s bike is essentially an electric moped.
I saw the FlyKly at Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco, where Klansek was showcasing the bike and allowing people to take it for a test drive.I probably should have guessed that my poor driving in a car would carry over to a FlyKly (as demonstrated in the above video). That aside, 20 miles per hour feels a lot faster than it sounds, so be prepared to travel quickly should you come across a FlyKly.
The bike’s speed also makes it a valid mode of emission-free transportation. It runs on lithium batteries, with a 40-mile range and four-hour charge time.
Klansek launched his product in mid-August in the Bay Area after a successful New York run in June, where it sold out in about one month, he said. At the event on Friday, Klansek said half the stock — about 25 bikes priced at $1,900 each — had already sold.
J.D. Morris is the lead environment reporter.