Electric Bike Helps Employee Bypass Traffic

Nicholas Roy’s electric bike helps him save 32 gallons of gas each month.

May 28, 2015 | By Justin Felles

When your commuting options are either the Interstate 210 or 10 at rush hour, neither will get you anywhere fast. This was Southern California Edison (SCE) video producer Nicholas Roy’s daily struggle. So, he decided to skip the freeway and go green — with the help of an electric bike and Metrolink.

“I live in Claremont and work in Rosemead,” said Roy. “With two small kids waiting for me at home, sitting in traffic wasn’t an option.”

First, Roy took advantage of the Metrolink train station a few miles from his house. That took care of half of his commute. He still needed to figure out a way to get to and from the train station. Driving was one consideration, biking was another. Weighing his choices, the bike won out — he could take it along on the train then ride from the station to his office. In total, his bike commute averaged 12 miles roundtrip.

“From a fitness perspective, riding my bike was great,” he said. “But it added complexity and time to my day because I had to prep my work clothes every morning and shower at the office.”

Thanks to some of the knowledge he’s gained working at the electric utility, Roy looked for a way to electrify his bike. He found a used mountain bike online and searched for a kit that would allow him to modify it with an electric motor and battery — making it easier to ride to and from the train station.

Roy was inspired seeing the advances in battery and energy storage technology, such as recently announced home energy storage systems, which will help power the future.

“The electric motor isn’t as fast as a car or motorcycle, but it helps cut my bike commute several minutes from my commute and makes the trip a little easier on days when I’m tired,” Roy said.

Modifying the bike took about a week. A few test rides later, it was ready to hit the road. By commuting carless, Roy saves more than 32 gallons of gasoline — equal to 640 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution every month.

“It’s great knowing that not only do I not have to sit in traffic anymore, but I’m also able to be green while speeding up my commute,” he said. 

Topics: People