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Electric Power That Doesn’t Require Transformers Nor Grids.

It’s All About Cleaner Phuket Air – But With A Human Touch

Surely there must have been times when touring the island on a motorbike either as a tourist, expat, or even looking to buy property in Phuket as a newcomer, you’ve inhaled your fair share of exhaust fumes.

Those nasty clouds of blue and black smoke billowing out of tailpipes doesn’t bode well for a relaxing Sunday drive, let alone any other day of the week for that matter. Soot and sand doesn’t really make for a pleasant tropical combo.

In a perfect world, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to arrive home after a day’s trip in the sunshine, and not feel you have to dash to the shower to perform an exfoliation to rid yourself of the grime?

Although we still might have to hold our breath for some time, both for that to materialize and the exhausts itself, it’s certainly refreshing to know that there is a more environmentally friendly alternative that’s in our midst.

Electric bikes. Yes, it might not sound as cool and macho as let’s say hoppin’ on a beefy Harley. But just consider the positive impact this would have if more of the island’s population would choose this eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Well Josef Memmel of ‘Phuket Green Bike’ in Nai Harn (www.phuketgreenbike.com) has opted for a cleaner Phuket, and hopefully his sincere efforts for a smog-free Phuket will pay off. Electric bikes have been hitting the road since the 18th century, and Josef saw an opportunity to continue a trend that Phuket really hasn’t seen in abundance.

Josef’s current selection of bikes consists of seven models ranging from fold-up bikes, mountain bikes, a pedal scooter, 3-wheelers and even a sleek Jumbo Super Bike. Depending on the model, they come with either a lead acid battery, or a lithium ion battery – the latter being much lighter with a longer lifespan.

One can either buy or rent a bike from Josef, and long-term rentals come with a discounted price. At the time of this writing, his least expensive models are priced around 25,000 Baht and go up to 35,000 Baht. Average daily rentals range from 200 – 300 Baht, and weekly rentals range from 150 – 200 Baht. (These rates vary depending on the season and model of bike).

Aside from the advantages of having no emissions, nor noise and smell, they’re virtually maintenance-free. The reason; there’s no chain-drive, nor is there a standard motor or gearbox. Only the tires, brakes, batteries and lights would need attention.

Additionally, the batteries, electric motor, charger and controller, all come with a warranty (see website for more info). The average distance per one charge is approximately 40kms and the typical charging time is 4 – 6 hours to overnight.

So the next time you desire to feel the wind in your face, but without the unpleasant noise and smell that accompany traditional bikes, consider going electric. Not only will it make your island ride more eco-friendly, but the nature we all enjoy will also have a chance to both heal and flourish.

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