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Zipee bikes – the green answer for urban commuting 12.07.07

Zipee bikes - urban cool

Plug it in over night, zip to work in the morning. Zipee bikes are a low cost, no emissions, electrical bike that looks like a scooter, and sounds like a purring cat.. Zipee’s founder Naomi Aptowitzer talks to Naturalchoices about why Zippe is the commuters dream.

If you would like to cycle to work but its just too far or you can’t face cycling home after a hard day then Zipee bikes are the answer you have been looking for. Zipee bikes are cheap, cheerful and fun to ride, they don’t need insurance, are exempt from congestion charges, there’s no road tax, you don’t need a drivers license and there is room for two. On top of that because they run on electricity they are no-polluting and have zero carbon emissions- how cool is that? You don’t even have to wear a helmet, however it’s not a bad idea to get one, you may be the safest cyclist in the world but that guy in the BMW talking on his mobile phone is an idiot.

“I’ve been an eco-warrior a scooter and bike fan for year, when I discovered electric bikes it was like it all came together, it seemed like the natural thing to do” says Naomi, “It’s like the old Remington advert, but without the cheesy grin, ‘I loved the idea so much I bought the company’. I use to be in property so with I sold a couple of places and used the capital to found the company, we started testing in 2005 and launched in 2006”.

With a max speed of 20 kilometres an hour and a range of up to 30 miles per charge Zipee bikes take 5-6 hours to re-charge, so you can plug it in at the office and its ready to ride home, or for short commutes one nights charge will get you there and back again, no sweat no carbon dioxide. The electricity the charger uses is about the same as charging your mobile phone.

“People can’t believe it when you turn the bike on, it has a gentle purr, the loudest thing about the bike is the indicator warning”, says Naomi.

“We have been taking the bike round to green fairs and the response ahs been tremendous, people just love them”

Zipee sell their bikes online at the moment, but are working to get the bikes into cycle shops round London. “We are thinking of setting up a rental scheme, and want to get it all ready for the London Olympics, maybe even do tours of London” say Naomi about future plans.

Zipee bikes are assembled in the UK by the company, and spare parts, wheels and support are available through your local bike shop.

To make Zipee the green dream all you need to do is switch to a green energy supplier and voila you have a 100% sustainable mode of transport for less than a London zone 1-2 annual tube pass.

The 2001 census showed that 3.7 million people’s daily commute involves travelling around London, a report from the Greater London Authority showed that only 20% of people live and work in the same borough, the same report found that around 80,000 Londoners cycle to work, 42% travel more than 10 kms to work- which means that 58% of working Londoners travel less than 10 kms- that is a huge target audience for the pro-cycling movement. A zone one and two annual travel card cost £928, if you have the misfortune of living in zone 6 and working in central London your annual card is £1720. A Zipee will set you back £799, a Zipee Plus, which has a more powerful motor for hills and a remote control locking device is £899

Peter Shield

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Related links

Zipee Bikes

Test drive a Zipee Bike

Commuting in London- Report from the Greater London Authority (PDF)

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