FORGET what you think you know about electric transport. The industry has undergone a revolution, with one of the country's specialists Urban Electro leading the way from its Northamptonshire base.
The centre offers so much more than electric bikes with innovative products, highlighting just how much the sector has undergone a transformation.
Steve Cunningham, who owns the company, based in Rushden, sources innovative brands from across the world from expertly crafted e-bikes from Italy to cutting edge cargo bikes from the Netherlands and innovative accessories including folding helmets and intelligent locking systems.
"Once we get talking to people, they are really surprised at what we can offer," said Steve, who is always looking for the next opportunity to share his enthusiasm for electric transport.
"E-bikes are at the heart of our business, but we can offer other products that suit their lifestyle or their business needs. A few years ago the electric bike was seen as an expensive option, but a lot of work has gone into the design and functionality which means a lot more people can make the most of the benefits."
Electric bikes have undergone a huge innovative process in recent years, with countries such as Holland purchasing over half a million electric bikes last year. Electric bikes provide a host of advantages beyond those associated with traditional cycling.
Folding e-bikes are popular with commuters with the convenience of being able to store indoors when not required or for safekeeping. E-bikes are perfect for those who are less mobile, whom may have difficulty with longer distances but still want to retain independence of movement and the freedom to explore.
An electric bike can help everyone stay mobile and enjoy the benefits and thrills experienced through cycling. Electric cargo bikes are rapidly becoming the transport of choice for many industries from delivery companies, racing teams and even some postal services.
More serious riders are turning to electric mountain bikes which have motors designed to assist over difficult terrain while other customers are opting for e-bikes aimed at those looking for alternative transport while getting out and about.
Urban Electro takes pride in sourcing the most cutting-edge electric transport from around the world and providing it directly to you, either for your business or personal use.
Steve said: "We welcome people and companies to come to try for themselves the e-bikes and look at what might suit their specific needs."
The showroom at 1-5 Park Road, Rushden, NN10 0RW is open on Saturdays, 9am to 5pm and Sundays, 10am to 4pm by appointment. Call 07972 709941 or see the website at www.hotelebike.com
Another store has recently opened in Bedford - Rollback World is at 7 Church Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1LQ, call 0300 111 0808
Urban Electro focuses on sourcing electric transport for businesses, marking up the bikes in corporate colours or offering limited edition and specialised features.
Urban Electro is currently in contact with many high-profile clients in Northampton, discussing adding a boutique e-bike to their company. Fleets can be made up in a company or organisation's branding and this is attracting the attention of a growing number of clients. Forward thinking clients in the public, private and charity sectors are some of the first to join the electric transport revolution as with cycle to work schemes, they can save up to 47 per cent if they buy an electric bike through their company.
"There are so many benefits for employers and employees. A happier workplace is better for staff retention and there are obviously real environmental benefits. Leading recruiters will often highlight the value of corporate social responsibility and this is one way to take positive action," said Steve regarding Cycle to Work schemes.
"Businesses can reduce their National Insurance payments and, at the same time, improve staff well-being."
The wide variety of electric transport now available means there is a product to meet different needs. These include electric-powered transport to be used on campus or hospital sites or even on extensive warehouse sites. A nationwide rental programme for electric bikes is going to be launched at university campuses in 2020. Other new partnerships are being made with hotels through Urban Electro's new programme - for details see www.hotelbike.com
Steve said: "There are so many ways electric transport can make a difference. We hope businesses and individuals will get in touch so we can show them the options."