Moped redux: new IZIP hybrid bicycles coming Sept. 27

Over the last few months here in Manhattan, I've noticed a slow but seemingly steady increase in sightings of power-assisted bicycles and scooters. Some are mated to an electric motor, others are running on gas, but all appear to be either built from an add-on kit, or the one-off Shelleyan creation of a mad tinkerer. It makes you wonder if there's a void in the transportation market, the market for mopeds.

Dr. Malcolm R. Currie, former chairman and CEO of Hughes Aircraft and Delco Electronics, is betting there is a void and he intends to capitalize on it. In 1998, he founded Currie Technologies, a company that develops and manufactures light hybrid electric vehicles (essentially bicycles and push-scooters with electric-motor assistance.)

On September 27th, Currie Technologies will introduce a new line-up of their IZIP bicycles and scooters. The one on the left (HG1000) in the picture above is actually the most mopedish-looking of the bunch. It offers a top speed of about 15 mph and an average range of up to 35 miles while the total weight of the vehicle is 90 lbs. Now take a look at the one on the right, the Urban Cruiser Enlightened. Can you even tell there's an electric motor in the hub of the rear wheel? Pretty slick integration. This too has a top speed of about 15 mph, but its range is limited to about 25 miles as the weight is at 48 lbs.

[Source: Currie Technologies]

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