2011 was a good year for VW – the best since 2002 – said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, and this gives the company a license to think outside the car. Thus, at the Washington Auto Show, Volkswagen announced support for another type of pedal power: for the next two years, VW will sponsor Bikes Belong, a national organization that works to get more people on more bikes more often, as part of the automaker's expanding Think Blue campaign, which was launched in the U.S. last May. In D.C., Browning said that the Think Blue initiative is about "delivering sustainable mobility on all fronts," and that now includes two-wheeled, human-powered bicycles. It should go without saying, but the benefits of biking include reducing traffic congestion while improving health and lowering travel's impact on the environment. It's good to see VW embracing this alternative in a real way. Previously, VW showed off the bik.e, a foldable bike concept that fits into a spare wheel well.

VW's Bikes Belong sponsorship will include these three major areas:
  • Peopleforbikes.org: A way to get people to publicly promote bike riding. The goal is to get a million riders together to "urge policy makers to endorse cost-effective legislation that improves bike paths, lanes and trails nationwide."
  • Safe Routes to School National Partnership: Sort of a "hey, let's have kids walk and bike to school" program. Also known as being sensible.
  • Bicycling Design Best Practices: An effort to "create more bike-friendly communities across the United States by helping cities adapt the world's best bike facility models, policies and state-of-the-art designs."
Browning called the sponsorship, "a perfect example of our Think Blue initiative," and Bruno Maier, vice president of Bikes Belong said that VW "complements our mission." The automaker "understands that when people ride bikes, great things happen," he said.
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VOLKSWAGEN PARTNERS WITH BIKES BELONG TO CREATE CLEAN, SAFE BIKING COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE

New two-year sponsorship will support key bicycling projects as part of Volkswagen's Think Blue.® initiative to promote sustainable mobility and environmentally conscious lifestyles

Herndon, Va., January 26, 2012― At the Washington Auto Show today, Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) and the Bikes Belong Foundation, the nation's leading advocacy organization for biking, announced a new two-year partnership to help develop biking-friendly communities, foster healthy lifestyles and create a cleaner environment. VWoA will donate vehicles and funding to support three core Bikes Belong advocacy and urban planning initiatives: Peopleforbikes.org, Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTSNP) and Bicycling Design Best Practices.

"Volkswagen's commitment to environmental sustainability extends beyond our fuel-efficient vehicles and company practices," said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "We are extremely proud to be partnering with Bikes Belong to encourage biking and ensure that people of all ages can safely share the road, saving fuel and reducing pollution and traffic congestion."

The sponsorship is part of Volkswagen's Think Blue.® initiative, which encompasses all of the company's efforts to promote eco-friendly mobility and encourage environmentally conscious behavior. The Bikes Belong Foundation partnership also aligns with Volkswagen's long-term commitment to encourage active lifestyles by endorsing cycling, running and triathlon events.
"We are thrilled to have a strong partner in Volkswagen, an innovative, forward-thinking automotive company that shares our commitment to sustainable mobility," said Bruno Maier, vice president, Bikes Belong. "We are looking forward to this joint venture to help create safer roads for all people and help raise awareness of bicycling as a viable, eco-friendly mode of transportation."
The partnership between Volkswagen and the Bikes Belong Foundation focuses on improving bicycling through advocacy, urban planning and strategic design across the three primary programs:

· Peopleforbikes.org: Launched in 2010, Peopleforbikes.org is a movement to unite one million bicyclists of all riding abilities to urge policy makers to endorse cost-effective legislation that improves bike paths, lanes and trails nationwide. VWoA will provide four vehicles for a nationwide "road campaign" to encourage Americans to sign this pledge in support of bicycling and healthy lifestyles.
· Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTSNP): VWoA's funding will help bolster efforts to create safe opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to school, while also tackling critical issues related to health, traffic congestion, public safety and the environment.
· Bicycling Design Best Practices: The program aims to create more bike-friendly communities across the United States by helping cities adapt the world's best bike facility models, policies and state-of-the-art designs. VWoA will sponsor workshops and study tours to help implement proven projects that enhance the bicycling experience.
To learn more, visit www.bikesbelong.org/foundation. For further information about Volkswagen's Think Blue.® campaign, go to www.vw.com/thinkblue.

About Bikes Belong Foundation
Formed in 2006, the Colorado-based Bikes Belong Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on improving bicycle safety and enhancing children's bike programs. The Foundation administers the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, supports the Bicycle Design Best Practices Project and directs the Peopleforbikes.org campaign.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      2wheel approved
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Far better than the crap that GM pulled. But it's funny how VW suddenly changed it's tune after fighting new fuel economy standards even harder than the domestics have.. and lost the battle in the process. Go buy a VW and build me a bike lane. I don't like being out in the street. The only reason my eBike is jacked up to do >40mph is because i'll get clobbered on shoulder-less roads..
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2Wm: Quite an eye-opener. Many thanks.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2WM: Check out these AllCell batteries. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/ecospeed.html The EcoSpeed bike is daft. ridiculously expensive, but the PCM in these batteries make them idea for hobbyists as they control heating.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Dave: i've seen those packs in person, disassembled. They are quite nice, and have a great weight/size per wHr, but the problem with them is price. They need the PCM material because the company is basically taking 1C, high wHr/KG cells and selling them as 2C rate cells.. I run RC Lipo, it's 20C and the cells never generate ANY heat because their internal resistance is so low, and the only voltage drop i get is from the wires leading to the controller :). I recently bought 1.5kWh for $620. The same capacity of allcell batteries would have cost me $1,700. ( BTW, 1.5kWh on an electric bike is about a 70-80 mile range at 20mph/32kph if you pedal along. )
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Ezee: I think these companies are doing the world a big disservice as well. But an electric bike can replace a car in a lot of situations, so where is the incentive for them to sell eBikes anyway... ? Look at the currie bikes for a good example of a mass-produced, basic and functional lithium powered bike for around $1000, which is maybe only $100-$200 more than what i could put together and sell as a commercial product - quite reasonable. But they are 1 of a small handful of companies trying to be competitive on price. If you are interested in electric bikes, i am 'neptronix' on the endless-sphere forum. Contact me there and id be glad to answer any eBike question you have.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Oddly, all of these mfg's price their bikes scary high. I hate to sound like a conspiracy person, but it is like they only want to build them to so they can SAY they built them, but not actually SELL any. No offense to 2wheel, but something is wrong if he builds bikes that are cheaper, faster, and have longer ranges than GM, BMW, Mercedes, etc....
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think more auto makers should design their cars with bikes in mind. And there should be more bike paths and linear parks.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really nice bikes... i got a hybrid bike from http://www.2wheelbikes.com but electric would be cool too.
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always wanted an electric bike, being a senior citizen, but I can't afford one. Additionally, if something is that valuable, it would be a target for theft, and the replacement cost is just too much. I think the price of these bikes is probably hugely inflated, because when I was in China a few years ago, the common Chinese, supposedly disadvantaged compared to Westerners, were, many of them, riding electric bikes. The ubiquity of that mode of transportation informs me that a lower price-point is possible, if not as profitable. On campus, I see a few electric bikes here and there, but not many; and the campus I visit frequently is an upscale one in Irvine, California. You see more electric skate boards than bikes.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        If you are OK with a heavy and low tech bike like the Chinese roll on.. eZips can be had for $300-$400.. low range.. low power.. but if aching knees/back/etc are preventing you from getting on a bike, that could be a solution. I park my eBike inside the businesses i frequent - grocery store, bank, etc. I've done this for a few years in various towns i've lived in without problems. I then take the bike inside and haul it up my stairs when i'm done. Works great for me so far.