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Photos of the 2012 Eco-Wheels Show

Posted by Roger Cullman / June 19, 2012

Eco-Wheels TorontoThe 2012 Eco-Wheels Show at The Distillery District this weekend showcased some of the latest styles and trends in electric bicycles, electric motorcycles and electric cars. The Amego "Batmobile" e-bike prototype (lead photo) immediately caught my attention with its solid look and badass matte black finish.

Eco-wheels TorontoThe focus of this year's show was the "increasing market appeal of eco-friendly transportation alternatives." And, like the Eco-Wheels Show I reviewed 2 years ago, there was plenty opportunity to look, touch and ride what was on display.

20120619_EcoWheels02.jpgOne of the members of the Toronto Electric Riders Association rode in on his custom-made cruiser-style e-bike tricked out with lithium batteries. Sweet ride!

20120619_EcoWheels04.jpgBionX International Corporation was on hand to showcase some of their BionX Retrofit Systems on a number of Surly bicycles, including this one (above) with monster tires that would allow year-round riding on Toronto streets and certainly help navigate all the streetcar tracks.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowI was pleased to see my old Veloteq Challenger RS-V still getting some good use -- now modified by its new owner with additional lights, horns, bells and a GPS mount. I put over 6,000 km on that scooter-style e-bike before going to "the dark side" of gas scooters. And it's easily seen at least that much more use in the last couple of years.

Eco-Wheels TorontoYamaha was on hand to showcase their scooter line-up. While not running on electricity yet, like some of their fleet in Japan, they're still an eco-friendly alternative for those in Toronto, like me, who don't feel the need to own a car.

Eco-Wheels TorontoI'm not sure who brought this 1943 Harley-Davidson motorcycle to the show. But it sure looks fun to ride.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowWe've come a long way, baby. Zero Motorcycles turned a few heads with their hot red Zero S all-electric motorbike. Its top speed (142 km/hr) is now comparable to my 300cc gas scooter. And the range-per-charge (up to 183 km) approaches the same distance I get per tank of premium gas. But I think I'll wait until the retail price (close to $14,000) comes down enough before I give this beast a more serious look.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowWhile less appealing to me personally, electric cars including the Nissan Leaf made an appearance.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowThe all-electric Fisker KARMA turned a few heads, too. And rightly so.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowIts solar-panel roof was quite something to see on a car. Here's hoping that other manufacturers will clue in and start putting in some serious R&D into incorporating more of these innovations in their offerings soon.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowBecause it's not quite feasible for everyone to be driving this solar car down city streets. Not yet, anyways.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowZipcar was on hand to offer their spiel. And so was a new player in Toronto's car sharing landscape.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowCAR2GO, with its membership-driven fleet of over 250 smart fortwo cars and offering per-minute, hourly and daily rates, I may just give them a go. It's a pity they don't offer Smart For Two Electric Drive cars yet. YMMV.

2012 Eco-Wheels ShowFor those of you who haven't yet embraced your love for electric alternative vehicles and still want to get around the city with more gear, there's the Babboe City cargo bike from The Netherlands. I don't speak Dutch, but if the images on their website are any indication, it sure looks like a fun way to wheel your kids around. Just be sure they wear their helmets.

If you missed this show and are interested particularly in electric vehicles, keep an eye out for the EV Fest 2012 at the Evergreen Brick Works on Sept. 9.

Photos by Roger Cullman Photography.



alessandro / June 19, 2012 at 11:51 am
lol, "eBike" and "badass" cannot be used in the same sentence. Matte-black finish or not, there is nothing "badass" about an eBike. It's about as badass as a goji berry granola bar.
Mr Kanyo / June 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Great to see all these modes of alternative travel but I believe the most "Eco" way to get around is motor-less.
10Ck replying to a comment from Mr Kanyo / June 19, 2012 at 01:42 pm
Actually, recycling batteries and using energy as wind and solar and hydro produces less waste and uses less hydrocarbons than the food energy needed to pedal a bicycle.

10Ck replying to a comment from Mr Kanyo / June 19, 2012 at 01:45 pm
...and many folks buying power-assisted bicycles are leaving their cars parked at home for many trips, a massive drop in energy consumption, and helping our streets become a little safer for other cyclists and pedestrians.
Ratpick replying to a comment from 10Ck / June 19, 2012 at 02:54 pm
"recycling batteries and using energy as wind and solar and hydro produces less waste and uses less hydrocarbons than the food energy needed to pedal a bicycle."

Interesting. Where'd you get that? And what if you're just plugging the charger into the wall (electricity from nuclear/gas/coal/hydro/wind)?

10Ck replying to a comment from Ratpick / June 19, 2012 at 03:09 pm
Hiya Ratpick
Should point out that most ebikes consume less than 20 watt-hours per kilometer of energy... equivalent to about 17 food calories, so the amounts of energy we are talking about here are extremely tiny. Personally I pay an extra three cents per 1000 watt-hours to buy electrons from Bullfrog, and they feed 100% renewables into the power grid for me. If folks are concerned about using nuclear power, they need to switch off their computers and yell phones right now (smile.)
Larry / June 19, 2012 at 03:26 pm
Great to have choices. Scooter Style E-Bikes, Open Frame EBikes or Pedal Bikes are three good alternatives for commuting and should all be welcomed with open arms. If the choice was just bicycles, we would have many people simply resort back to their cars. I don't understand why the "knockers" don't see this.
10Ck / June 19, 2012 at 03:32 pm
What I find amusing is folks burning 100 Watts watching their big screen TVs for entertainment but they have concerns about others using this same power for transportation (grin)
Greg / June 19, 2012 at 03:39 pm
Agreed Larry! Rode a bicycle for most of my life, and never once rode it to work because of hills and distance. With my e-bike, I use it as often as I can and love the ride. I simply ignore the "knockers" as you called them. Open minded and positive people are so much more refreshing to talk to.
badass / June 19, 2012 at 08:05 pm
Badasses burn fossil fuels. Ya Baby!
ROB replying to a comment from alessandro / June 20, 2012 at 02:22 am
@Alessandro and the other wallies are due for a wake up call. Bad ass has been redefined. I dare you to take this "E-bike" for a spin and come out intact.
Alessandro / June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm
@rob: I'm all for alternatives to fossil fuel rides and making the planet a cleaner place, but it's certainly not badass in any way. I use the TTC for most of my transportation and have memberships with both Zipcar and Autoshare, so I don't have to own a car. But..... when I want to be a bit badass I've got a matte-black Ducati Streetfighter,with a Leo Vince aftermarket exhaust put on, just waiting for me down in the parking garage. I only ride it on occasion, not for the daily commute, because it is like trying to hold the reigns on a thoroughbred race horse at full gallop. It simply does not like to be ridden slow. That bike is a badass in every sense of the word. No ebike, not even the ones made by ZERO, can come close to that feeling.
10Ck / June 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm
"...No ebike... can come close to that feeling."

James / June 20, 2012 at 02:51 pm
I test drove an Amego E-Breeze and Velociti at the show, and was very pleased with the ride. The Velocity I rode had Ferrari decals on it and had apparently been ridden by their race team at the Grand Prix in Montreal. Overall these are the highest quality E-Bikes I have seen to date, would buy.
Brett / July 26, 2012 at 04:33 am
Really enjoyed that day and o my, i want(read: need) a fisker! Love to see that the Babboe City was mentioned aswell. Been driving it for 4 years now and the kids are still enjoying the ride. They got a new website wich is in multiple languages. Go to or!

Cya next year!
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Brett / November 25, 2012 at 03:01 am
Honda is testing a hydrogen fuel cell car and system:
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