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UNR launches electric bike rental program
by Tribune Staff
Sep 08, 2011 | 2074 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Brigette Villalobos, a senior at UNR and an employee of the Parking and Transportation Services Department, demonstrates the new battery-powered bicycles that are being offered for rent on campus.
Tribune/John Byrne - Brigette Villalobos, a senior at UNR and an employee of the Parking and Transportation Services Department, demonstrates the new battery-powered bicycles that are being offered for rent on campus.
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RENO — Ten new electric bicycles are available for rent at the University of Nevada, Reno campus this semester and were on display Thursday as part of the university’s Sustainability Fair.

“This is a beautiful way to get to campus,” said Mehdi Etezadi, chair of the electrical and biomedical engineering department. “You can pedal or, with a quick turn of the wrist, engage the electric motor and power up the hills.”

The cruiser-style bicycles are available for rent for $30 a month. They are equipped with a compact electric motor powered by a small, removable battery pack on a rack above the rear tire. Top speed on flat ground is 25 miles per hour.

“If you live within five to 10 miles you can just hop on the bike and cruise to classes,” Etezadi said. “If you live farther away you can plug the battery pack into the wall to recharge for the ride home. It might cost 15 cents for the electricity.”

Etezadi brought the bicycles to campus through a grant from NV Energy. In addition to making the bikes available to students and faculty, he is interested in performance characteristics of these electric motors. As part of the regular curriculum, students learn about different types of electric motors, their performance and efficiency in the EBME electrical machine laboratory.

The electric bicycles can be rented through the Parking and Transportation Services Department located at 16th Street and North Virginia Street next to the West Stadium Parking Complex.

“You don’t need to buy a bike to commute to school,” said Melody Bayfield, director of parking and transportation. “You can rent one of these bikes for $30 a month and save on gas and parking fees at the same time.”

For more information, call 784-4654.
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