International electric bike news round-up

Latest stories from Malaysia, Switzerland, India, US and UK

Electric bicycles may be taken off the road in Malaysia if the government's cabinet accepts a recommendation from the transport ministry.

Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan has complained that many of the e-bikes currently being sold in the South-East Asian country are designed to travel at more than 40kmh. Transport minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said continuing to allow such bikes poses a high risk of injury or death.

Switzerland’s new national bike hire scheme to include electrics

Switzerland’s first national bike-sharing network is due to launch this summer. Swiss Federal Railways, PostBus and rent-a-bike companies are collaborating to offer a rental service for traditional or electric bikes. Initially, bike centers will be established at 20 railway stations across Switzerland.

Indian electric two-wheeler sales up 20% after subsidies

Following an incentive package for electric vehicles announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy last November, average monthly sales of electric two-wheelers have reportedly risen by 20 percent. The government is providing discounts of up to 20 percent on factory prices of electric vehicles sold in India until March 2012.

Electric bikes now allowed on Great Allegheny Passage

The board of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 135-mile-long railway path which runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have given the green light for electric bikes to be used by people with disabilities to use the trail. Electric bikes were also allowed on the Five Star, Westmoreland Heritage and Coal and Coke trails in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Devices with internal combustion engines or without manual pedalling capability, including Segways, will continue to be banned. The policy was drafted to comply with Justice Department regulations that are designed to ensure trail access for people with disabilities. "I think we've preserved what most people want when they go out on the trail for either walking or biking," said Malcolm Sias, president of the Regional Trail Corp.

Spencer Ivy electric bikes picked up by holiday companies

Two companies are using Spencer Ivy electric bikes to offer electric bike holidays in the UK. Drover Holidays offer tours in Wales's Brecon Beacons, while Capital Sport cover the south of England, all the way from Devon to Kent.

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