As gas prices accelerate towards $5.50 per gallon in San Diego County, they’re fueling sales of electric transportation options.
Robert Rast peddles the possibility of an inexpensive way to get around instead of using a car.
Rast, owner of FLX Electric Bikes on Morena Boulevard, says he’s noticed people looking for alternatives as gas prices continue breaking record highs.
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“People are coming in, they're saying, 'I want to park the car, I need to get on something where I don't have to buy gas anymore,'" Rast said.
While the pandemic helped spark an initial electric bike boom, Rast says they're riding a second wave of exponential growth as gas prices move into overdrive.
“We've seen it in a big way lately. Sales are up, can't complain about that. I definitely don't like the gas prices, but we're up about four times from this same month last year," he said.
At a cost of about 10 cents to charge for a 50 to 70-mile ride, e-bikes that travel about 20-plus miles per hour are just one of the electric transportation options gaining popularity.
“I’m laughing all the way to the bank instead of the gas pump,” Tesla driver David Ingersoll said.
It's that savings that has some drivers considering purchasing electric vehicles. Experts say because of that demand, though, you'll need to pump your brakes.
“You’re going to wait anywhere from three months to a year and a half. It really depends on which automaker you go with and where you land in the queue," said Ivan Drury of Edmunds.Com
Rast said he's experiencing similar issues at FLX, but he says the wait for back-ordered bikes is well worth it.
“If you like saving money, if you like breathing clean air, it's an easy choice," he said.
The average cost of an e-bike runs anywhere from about $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the brand and model.