Is an electric bike your solution to rising gas prices?

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 11:40 AM

PHOENIX -- With gas prices continuing their meteoric rise, many people are looking for alternative methods of transportation, especially for short trips around town.

What is more fuel-efficient than your car and costs less than buying a hybrid? An electric bike.

Dave Smedstad of HyBikes brought a couple of electric bikes to 3TV Monday morning, and he even let Javier Soto ride one. (Of course, Javi loved it.)

There are three HyBikes models -- Polarity, Kinetic and Alkaline. According to the company's website, these are "electric bikes that make smart cars look dumb." Smedstad explained why.

"They're really big in other countries right now, but our gas prices haven't dictated it yet," Smedstad explained. "As they continue to go up, we're starting to see more and more of these get on the road every day."

You can ride an electric bike anywhere you can ride a traditional bike. The same rules apply.

That means you do not need a driver license, registration or special insurance.

"We always recommend you wear a helmet and you always have to follow your local bike-helmet laws," Smedstad continued.

With speeds of up to 20 mph, the HyBikes are very quiet and can be pedaled if you prefer -- or run down the battery.

According to Smedstad, charging a HyBike is just like charging your cell phone. All you need to do is plug it in to any standard outlet. Depending on the model, the bikes will get between 30 and 45 miles per charge,

Smedstad said HyBikes fit nicely on bus bike racks and can be taken on the Light Rail, just like a regular bike.

Demand for the electric bikes has spiked recently.

"We sell one of these every single day of the week," Smedstad said. "We ship them all over the country."

Prices run between $1,400 and $2,500, but financing is available without a credit check and no interest.

For more information, call 480-375-8765 or visit www.HyBikes.com.

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