Inspiration this morning in a national press release from Germany:

Pedal power to the people

Pedal power to the people

Stuttgart to Launch Electric Bike Share

With gas prices climbing and the threats associated with global warming becoming more apparent, more and more commuters think two wheels look better than four…

The city of Stuttgart has announced plans to rent electric scooters from locations around the city. The idea injects an electric jolt into the bike-sharing programs like Paris’ popular Vélib’.

The city’s government has inked a deal with British firm Ultra Motor to provide the moped-like vehicles. It hopes to have around 1,200 such vehicles ready for rental and covered charging stations located every 500-600 feet around the city in about less than a year.

The LEVs can travel up to 37 miles before needing a charge – which takes about 15 minutes – and have been especially engineered to travel up steep hills.

Interested users will be able to buy a monthly LEV subscription for 15 euros ($24), which will provide them with rides up to 30 minutes, a fraction of the price for a monthly Stuttgart train pass.

I believe the LEVs are combination pedal-electric: that is, you can pedal yourself as much or as little as you want.

More info on the LEV Share program here – coming soon to more cities in Europe. We need to welcome initiatives like these and consider them for American cities, which take oil-burning vehicles off the road and help us make the transition into a more electric-powered and efficiency-oriented (i.e., more sustainable) transportation mindset. First, of course, we have to start making riding two-wheelers safer by cutting back on the car-first design of almost all our streets… Europe has a 30-year or so head start on us on this. Photo by JS North via Flickr.

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