For aspiring environmentalists not sold on the whole physical fitness thing (or who just want a little more speed), there's hope yet. Developed by Ultra Motor (the San Francisco-based supplier of Light Electric Vehicles) the A2B is a zero-emission bicycle powered by a 500-watt electric motor.
Built around a lightweight, fully suspended aluminum frame, the ASB can be pedaled like the average bicycle. But when you're tired of the strain (20-inch wheels will add to that a bit), kick on the on-demand electric motor and effortlessly cruise around at a brisk 20 mph for up to 20 miles (depending on the terrain and, er, rider's heft). After three and a half hours plugged in, it's good to go again. An optional upgrade doubles ride time with an additional lithium ion battery (pictured above) to reach 40 miles. Several accessories, including a basket, also make the scooter-bike all the more useful.
Function aside, one of the key draws is the robust little profile of the vehicle, a design that comes thanks to Norbert Haller, co-founder of the Berlin firm Craftsmen and known for his work on transportation.
This eco-friendly ride doesn't come cheap, though. The base-level A2B is available at many retailers for $2700. But nobody ever said environmentalism would be cheap.