The quality of the ebikes and escooters available in the marketplace today is seriously impressive. The progress over the past decade, and especially in the past five years, has been nothing short of revolutionary.
Five years ago, light electric vehicles were in their Wild West phase, with a semi-crazed land grab going on. Sharing operators, as well as manufacturers of ebikes and escooters, were popping up everywhere, and most of them were "learning on the job". Components didn't always work, designs weren't always well-engineered, and in many cases vehicles weren't used the way their designers had intended (consumer scooters being thrown on sidewalks by the thousands to be used as shared vehicles, we're lookin' at you!).
Mercifully, light electric vehicles have a super power: they are light and electric! That means that they are basically consumer electronics, and every six months or so a new generation of vehicles comes out. Five years from when this vehicle class exploded into the public consciousness, we are roughly ten generations into the vehicle design and real-world-testing cycle. By comparison, cars are generally on a five+ year design cycle, so to get 10 generations in takes about 50 years. Think about the worst cars of the 1970s -- an explodes-when-rear-ended 1970s Ford Pinto comes to mind -- and compare them to a 2021 Tesla Model S, and that's about the difference between a circa 2016 ebike/escooter and what you can get today. Billions of dollars are getting spent every year on these vehicles, and the result is that the best manufacturers and the best designs are improving by big leaps every year, chasing leadership of this rapidly growing market.
Whether you want an entry-level ebike, or a high-speed scooter, or an electric mountain bike, or a comfortable city commuter, today you can find a reliable vehicle at a fair price. Now, that's not to say that all manufacturers and all brands are at the same level. And, a fair price might not mean an affordable price for everyone (yay bike libraries!), but given the amount of utility that these vehicles deliver, if you know what you're looking for these vehicles do indeed deliver very high value for the money.
So, get FreeBike on your side (we've been sourcing vehicles since what feels like the days of those Ford Pintos...), and put these revolutionary light electric workhorses to work for your community.