Tom Ward took his first ride on an electric bike in 2015 and quickly ordered one. Now he owns a shop selling electric bikes.
“I actually loved them so much that I started a business,” said Ward, who lives and raised in North Kingstown. He started it at his home, in November 2019. He opened the store – across from the post office in the former Busy Bee florist store – in September.
Electric bikes are not motorcycles or even mopeds. To remain “bikes,” they must have less than 60 volts and 750 watts of power so they can stay below 28 mph (the limit for e-bikes). Most bikes have enough horsepower to go 20 to 25 mph, Ward said. He said electric bicycles are like bicycles, with the ability to shift gears and brakes. There are three modes: pedal assist, all electric or just like a regular bike.
“With an electric bike, you’re going to use it a lot more,” Ward said. You can walk it a good distance and not be exhausted. Unsurprisingly, both because of the expense and the increase in electricity, Ward’s customer base is skewed 35 and over.
Just like regular bikes there are different types – those for cruising, bikes that fold in half for easy transport (and I looked – it took a second to fold the Freego it had in the ground. ). In addition to Freego, Ward sells Kontax and Aostirmotor. Prices start at around $ 1,000.
Ward hasn’t given up on his daytime job (he’s a pipe fitter at Electric Boat) and the store’s hours reflect that. It is open from 3 to 7 Monday, Thursday and Friday, from 9 to 4 on Saturday and from 11 to 4 on Sunday. The store will close on December 23 for the holidays and will be open by appointment only in January and February.
Enjoying the news you get here on East Greenwich News? As 501-c3 we depend on drive support. Become a supporting donor (monthly) or make a one-time donation! Click the Donate button below or send a check to EG News, 18 Prospect St., East Greenwich, RI 02818. Thank you.