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Frustrated car owners turning to e-bikes, say local shops

Frustrated car owners turning to e-bikes, say local shops

Local shops report jump in interest due to rising gas prices William Leishman, owner of Scooteretti in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, says he expects the long-term…

Saturday, Mar 12

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Local shops report jump in interest due to rising gas prices

William Leishman, owner of Scooteretti in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, says he expects the long-term prognosis for higher fuel prices will encourage more car owners to consider purchasing a power-assisted bicycle. (Giacomo Panico/CBC) The recent rise in fuel prices is leading to more calls and visits from people looking to rethink the way they get around, say owners of shops selling e-bikes in Ottawa.

Carlos Ascencio, owner of eBike Plus in Hintonburg, says in the past two weeks he’s had more visits than normal from people looking to substitute their car use with a bike ride that’s power-assisted by an electric motor.

"They come and they say, ‘Listen, gas prices will go higher than what they already are, so I want an e-bike,’" Ascencio said. Sales of power-assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, in Canada have been climbing at an accelerated rate and stand to increase even more thanks to higher fuel prices, say shop owners. (Philippe Morin/CBC) Even though she’s been wanting a power-assisted bike for years, Ottawa’s Mandy Foster says economics helped lead her to finally purchase one last week.

"Honestly with the gas prices the way they are, it’s definitely become a more viable option financially," said Foster.

Her new bike has an electric motor that only assists her when she pedals, yet has enough power to help her tackle hills, carry cargo and increase her range. She says this can reduce her dependency on her car.

"I find most of the trips […]

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