To clarify the situation, this Sunday Aug 16th at midnight will be the last day this summer that we will accept new orders from our store, shipping all of the existing orders and clearing up any outstanding business. After that we will do some long overdue housekeeping and reorganization.
There are many things you'll be able to look forwards to when the shop re-opens on Sept 3rd:
-High Capacity NiMH battery packs: We should have in stock again both 13Ah and the large 20Ah NiMH battery packs, as well as high current chargers to match them.
-Universal 24-48V NiCad Chargers: It's been over 8 months that we've been waiting for delivery on a new charger option for our NiCad battery packs. These units will be smaller and less expensive than the High Power brand, and are auto-ranging. The same charger will work for 24V, 36V, and 48V batteries.
-Improvements to our Online Store: Our shop website will be made more navigable, with an easier checkout process, more clarity on what parts go with what, a wider kit selection, and automatic shipping quotes.
-Motor Stock: We will have new shipments in from Crystalyte, a fresh supply of eZee motor kits, and possibly some other surprises.
Q. What if something breaks down, I need a new part ASAP...
A. We will continue and try to give over the top email support, so relax, no one is off vacationing on a beach in Bermuda. However, our telephone lines will not be monitored during this period, so please direct everything to our email.
A massive thank you needs to go out to Zev and Alison who have been shouldering the demanding task of running our shop during the busiest season of the year. At some point later this August the shop will be closing down for a 2 week period to give everyone a chance to take time off and recover. We will post the actual dates shortly.
Update: Dates of closure are August 17th - September 3rd.
Shipping will be completed before full shutdown so if you are waiting for your ebike parts, the shutdown will not impact their arrival. We won't be able to accept new orders during the closure by email or through our online store and will reopen on September 4th.
On Friday Justin crossed his first provincial border to enter Alberta on his cross-Canada electric bike journey. The trip statistics to date are shown in the image above, and things are looking more-or-less on track to make it to Halifax within the $10 energy budget.
He is currently staying in Calgary for a few days to catch up on a several things, and is planning to leave on Tuesday at 5:30 from the Power-In-Motion store at the Eau-Claire Market. Anyone wanting to participate in a small group ebike ride out of the city is welcome to join in.
There is still space available to participate in our first ever electric bicycle conversion course, happening this Wednesday, June 25th at 6pm. This will be a great opportunity for people who want to convert their bike to electric assist but aren't entirely confident about doing the installation all alone. We will step you through the process of fitting all the conversion components on the bicycle, from the hub motor to the battery pack to the controller and throttle wiring. You will end up with properly installed and dependable setup that has a tidy wiring job. Best of all, this first course is free. For more details, see our upcoming events page.
We had a great time at the 2008 VEVA REV! show last weekend and were glad to see many familiar names and faces. For those who missed it and those who want more, we are going to be hosting a Car Free Vehicle Show this coming Sunday on June 15th. The event will take place from 4pm onwards and we will have the whole block of Main St. between 15th and 16th for people to demonstrate and test ride all kinds of electric and pedal powered vehicles. This is an opportunity for us in the ebike community to show to the rest of Vancouver what a getting around in a less car-dependent future might look like. We'll be bringing a nice fleet of electric rides including the recently built cargo trike, side-by-side tandem, and self balancing skateboards shown below.
In addition though, we want any and everyone in the area who was built their own ebike contraption to come out as well and demonstrate to the public what these things can do. There are so many innovative and unique vehicles that we've seen our customers build and this will be a perfect opportunity for us to get together and showcase this technology. You can come by any time in the afternoon and stay as long as you like. However, there is also a need for formal volunteers who will help out to man the barricades on all the side streets and explain to oncoming traffic what is going on, so if you have interest in helping out at this level then please drop us a line as soon as possible.
There was an unfortunate issue that affected a number of the motor controllers that came with the recent batch of eZee conversion kits. Due to a low tolerance thermistor, some of the controllers were prone to entering an erroneous thermal shutdown after a short while of use even when the controllers were not actually overheating. This problem would be especially acute for people running at 48V. It has been fully resolved with the controller manufacturer. If you purchased an eZee kit and had a controller that shut down and entered a state of flashing 2 times, then 3 times, please let us know. We will have a replacement controller shipped out right away.
At the time we decided to sell the 12Ah LiFePO4 battery packs this spring we made mention that there was a possibility that even though there were balanced and delivering capacity when we shipped them, that there was a chance that over time the packs would come unbalanced. Well it turns out that even though a number of the packs have been performing well, there are indeed quite a few that are gradually going down in available capacity because of inadequate cell balancing from the BMS circuit. We have been working very hard to try and get an improved replacement BMS circuit for these packs, and it looks like that will finally be coming toward the end of August.
How much energy does it take to get transported from one side of Canada to the other? We'll find out soon enough. Justin is currently in Victoria and is about to set off on a trans-Canada trip by electric bicycle. With over a kilowatt hour of lithium batteries, some fast chargers, and an Xtracycle-come-semi-recumbent bike, he's leaving equipped to do it fast and in comfort. The plan is to make it to Halifax, in about 6 week's time, monitoring the electric power consumed along the way with a goal doing the whole trip with less than ten dollars worth of electricity.
Not only will this be a great opportunity to showcase the energy efficiency of electric bikes compared to almost all other modes, it will also be a chance to meet up with you, the ebike enthusiasts all over this country. There are just so many interesting people to see and stories to hear about these very early stages of electric bicycle adoption, and Justin hopes to meet up with as many of you as he can along the way, (especially if you'll spare an outlet for a few hours!).
For more information, see the following discussion thread on the endless-sphere forum:
Many people are forever cynical about politics, but this past year the provincial government of BC has taken three actions which are enormously positive to our cause. Firstly, they have instituted the first carbon tax of its kind in North America, putting a long overdue price on CO2 emissions. Secondly, in April they eliminated sales tax on electric bicycles and ebike parts to encourage their sale as a viable green transportation choice. And thirdly, just this past week, they handed out $100 cheques to every citizen in BC to encourage us to make investments that will reduce our environmental footprint. Well, for most people who commute by car or diesel transit there is no single better way to slash your CO2 emissions than to travel by ebike. From now until the end of June, we will match Gordon Campbell's $100 green cheque for anyone in BC who purchases a complete (motor + controller + battery) electric bicycle setup from us. That's $200 total savings for your first ebike conversion.
Note, we were delighted by the amount of interest that our local customers had in this promotion, but the offer has now expired.