Electric bikes don’t need to be complicated or expensive. By focusing on the basics — emissions-free transportation — Atomic Zombie is hoping the LongRanger has appeal outside its limited performance.
To start with, the company is only selling blueprints, not bikes, giving potential customers the freedom to use parts they already own or can source cheaply. Based in the United States, we see their machine having only limited appeal here. Americans tend to be wealthy enough to want bikes with higher performance (the LongRanger is only barely faster than a bicycle), and convoluted vehicle registration laws would create unnecessary hassle.
Where we see the LongRanger having the greatest potential impact is in the Third World, where basic scooters and mopeds already serve as primary transportation for millions. By offering a low cost, low maintenance, do-it-yourself option, the LongRanger or a bike like it could bring eco-friendly transportation to countries like India or Vietnam, who will also be among the first to experience the results of global warming.
Atomic Zombie also offers the Sparky electric minibike. While it probably can't provide alternative transportation for millions, it does look like the ideal bike for riding around our office.