Two worlds are clashing together inside my head – the old dreams versus the new ideas.
On one side, there are the power machines, utility vehicles, and off-road adventurers. I have considered getting a pickup truck, but my tendency is more towards a vehicle like the Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Regardless, I’ve been researching all of them, various pick up trucks and especially comparisons of the Defender vs. the Jeep. Finally, I made a decision. No more dilemma. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was the vehicle of choice.
Then comes the conscience. Emissions, gasoline consumption, … nuisances of that sort.
I consider the hybrid cars, once again. They are expensive. They still use gasoline, just less of it. They are cars. They are just plain cars. They are not a Jeep. Back to the Jeep, but… there is a problem.
Mine is a stubborn conscience.
I speak of eco-friendliness and sustainable solutions. The car is neither! So what to do, shall we walk across Europe?? I am a very fast walker, so is my son. I have to satisfy my curiosity, so I check Google maps.
It would take us 416 hours to cross the distance and we would walk across Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain. If we walked for 8 hours every day, the journey would take 52 days.
I think of bicycles. It’s a big journey though… over 2000km ( >1250 miles) across Europe. Riding bicycles would certainly shorten the trip compared to walking. We could probably cover 70-100km (43-60 miles) every day. A journey of roughly 3 and a half weeks. Man, would we be in awesome shape!
We have luggage too.
We could haul it in trailers behind us…. up the hill… hm.
Various visuals come to mind.
But wait, there are electric bicycles. Moreover, now there is a distinction between e-bikes and pedelecs:
- An e-bike is a bicycle or any cycle equipped with an auxiliary electric motor that can be exclusively propelled by that motor. The cyclist is not necessarily required to pedal.
- A pedelec is a bicycle or any cycle equipped with an auxiliary motor that cannot be exclusively propelled by that motor. Only when the cyclist pedals, does the motor assist.
Furthermore, pedelecs with a motor assisting beyond 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and e-bikes with a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h (15.5 mph) are classified as conventional mopeds. Minimum age for driving a moped is 15. My son is 13 years old, so our pedelecs would be within the regulations for a classic pedelec, and that’s fine. They wouldn’t be motorcycles, they wouldn’t be mopeds, just two motor-assisted bicycles.
We could get two pedelecs, each with its own trailer. That way we can split the cargo among us, and neither is too bad. We have motor support, allowing us to easily manage the hilly parts too, even with the luggage, and we can recharge the batteries using solar power!
A 100% clean solution.
That sounds pretty marvelous, so I continue to research. There are also cargo- or transport-pedalecs.
They can be used to transport kids, or for cargo. You could probably attach a trailer to one of these and spread out the luggage more evenly. That wasn’t quite ‘it’ though, so I continued to research and came across a whole new class of cargo pedelecs:
The load capacity is around 190-200kg (418-440 lbs) and there is plenty of room in the cargo box.
The Jeep chief, Mike Manley, has announced that the 2017 Jeep Wrangler may go hybrid!
“With an electric motor you have the most torque available and with the right combination of transmission and gear ratios you can create incredible crawl ratios. Where you have to be careful with the Wrangler is range. If you are eight hours and four miles into a trail, there is not a hybrid that we could do which could provide the battery support.”
Jeep also considers lighter materials and aerodynamic upgrades. “The use of aluminum and high-strength steel is huge for us. There is opportunity for carbon fibre as well.” Source: Auto Express