25 September 2007

Sustainable Design Not Within Reach

At first glance, when I saw this electric bike, called Pi, in today's LA Times, I thought, "that's a pretty cool looking electric bike". Then I kept reading....and as it turns out, it's not being sold in bike or scooter shops. It's being sold at Design Within Reach, the "nationwide 65-store chain that offers super-stylish furniture and accessories at supposedly affordable prices" Or, as I like to call it, Design Not Within Reach, because those supposedly affordable prices are often well into the thousands of dollars. (Their clearance sales typically offer items at 75% off, but when they are $3000 to begin with, the sale prices are even too steep!)

Anyway, Pi's got a very not-within-reach price tag of about $7500, which means I won't be giving up my standard pedal bike anytime soon. I have to say, it's a bit frustrating though. I wonder if there will ever be a time when good design, sustainability, and affordability can coexist. It's starting to happen, and there are certainly more affordable electric bikes out there - but let's face it, most scooters even cost less than this. Which is why I'm still looking at scooters!

Here's to hoping that fun stuff like this Pi will some day make sense for the masses.

The Pi

Pi with rider

Pi with $1800 solar-power add on. I like solar power as much as the next person, but come on - this looks silly. And I hope they only use it when parked.

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