by Jennifer Evans
Not everyone wants to participate in a rideshare program or can afford to go out and buy a new electric car but with the help of a new El Segundo business, it is possible to travel from point “A” to “B” taking a greener route.
Located in the heart of El Segundo’s downtown businesses, Electric Bikes LA has become the go-to place for people of all ages to purchase two-wheel transportation that allows for exercise as well as efficiency. Owned and operated by Andrea and Eric Busch, the couple felt a little awkward promoting the idea of living greener when Eric Busch, who is the manager of environmental affairs at his company, drove a gas guzzler to work every day.
Andrea and Eric Busch riding their electric bikes around town. (photo by Chris Miller)
“I decided in April 2008 that I wanted to find a more eco-friendly way of driving to work,” said Busch, who also happens to be El Segundo’s mayor.
Busch tried an electric scooter but determined it was too wobbly for him so after doing some research he and his wife purchased an eZee electric bike online. He explained that the bikes were only sold in New York and Seattle but couldn’t find a store in the area or surrounding areas that sold them. “Once we got the bikes and starting riding them, we realized that everyone and their brother enjoyed using them, so we started talking about opening a shop here in town,” Busch said.
Within three months of ordering their own bike online, the Busch family opened their electric bike business and despite the declining economy they have successfully survived and thrived as one of the only electric bike shops in the area.
The eZee electric bike is the store’s main attraction with several styles ranging from the eZee Chopper, which features a compact design, to the eZee Cadence, a more laid-back cruiser-style bike.
The bikes can travel at a speed of 20 mph on a flat surface and at about 16 mph uphill depending on the weight of the passenger. There is an option with all bikes to operate purely electric or purely manual or a little of both.
“I ride my bike to work more than 50 percent of the time,” Busch said. “It’s a great down time for me, I call it my Zen time.”
Busch said it takes about 37 minutes in the morning and 42 minutes for his ride home. “Which is not much longer than when I drive, considering I have to deal with traffic and parking.”
Encouraging others at his work and in town to do the same, Busch has successfully convinced others to use the power of the peddle rather than the power of petrol to get to work.
“We have a customer who decided to give up his car completely, and rides his electric bike to and from Santa Monica every day to work. He said the bike has changed his life,” Busch said.
Ranging in price from $1,500 to $2,500, the electric bikes have a 350-watt motor and can ride up to 42 miles (with little peddling) before needing a charge. “Our bikes have the best battery technology, we use lithium batteries,” Busch said. “We sell the highest quality bikes on the market and, honestly, when it comes to electric bikes, it does make a difference if you have the latest and greatest bike.”
Besides the bikes, the store also sells electric scooters and skateboards as well as accessories.
“Besides riding my bike to work, we ride the bikes together as a family, it’s really a lot of fun,” Busch said. “Andrea and I couldn’t be happier about the choice we made to buy the bikes ourselves and then open this shop.”
For more information, call (310) 640-2453 or visit www.electricbikesla .com or visit the store located at 221 Main St. in El Segundo.