▶️ As gas prices spike, more are looking to e-bike past the pump

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The West Coast is typically ranked the highest in the nation for gas prices.

But recently, the unstable oil market is seeing those prices get even worse.

“We’re at 4.58 in Bend and we’ve never seen an average that high,” said Marie Dodds, the Public Affairs Director for AAA Oregon.

With a more than 50 cents per gallon increase in a week at the pump, people are looking for better options.

“I would say 50 percent of our customers that come in here are using it for a car replacement,” said Matthew Desalvo, a salesperson at Bend Electric Bikes.

At Bend Electric Bikes, sales have increased consistently over the past several years.

“With people looking for something that provides more activity and more opportunity to not have to take the car,” Karl Mauldin, a mechanic and salesperson, “Bend Electric BikesSo that ties in with fuel prices.”

According to the New York Times, Americans bought almost half a million e-bikes in 2020, compared to around 200,000 electric cars.

With 10 electric vehicles for every 1,000 people in Deschutes county and growing, e-bike sales are also expected to keep climbing.

“And when we see gas prices climb this high, it does tend to spur that movement along,” Dodds said “But you have to balance that out with the economic reality for folks. Not everyone can afford to go out and buy another vehicle.”

Bend Electric Bikes say they haven’t seen any customers specifically mention the Ukraine conflict as the reason for purchasing an e-bike, but the nicer the weather gets, the more people are leaving the pump and going to pedals.

“Gas is not going to get cheaper and even if it does its momentary,” Mauldin said.

“I think it’ll have a role to play, in the future especially,” Desalvo said.

According to Deloitte, 130 million e-bikes are expected to sell worldwide between 2020 and 2023, and electric bikes are currently the highest-selling electric vehicle available.

With no certainty on when gas prices will decrease, you might see more of them on your morning commute.

 

 

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