Now for different kind of EV with 50 miles of electric range. And it's a good one, the Priority Embark.
Priority Bicycles is a US small business based in New York, who's goal is to make some of the easiest bicycles to ride and maintain. The Embark is their sole eBike model, which comes in 3 frame sizes and two colors, white and metal-flake gray. They can be ordered through Costco or the Priority factory. The large isn't huge, it's about right for 6'0" rider. It rides on WTB Horizon 650B x 47mm (27.5" x 1.85") Tubeless Ready tires which are high tech 'old school' balloon tires, that work on both pavement and hardpack trails. It ships with tubes using Presta style valves, you need to convert to tubeless if you so desire. The frame is aluminum with no suspension and built like a tank, yet it arrives with a hard mountain bike seat. You will probably want a 'comfort' seat which they will send you for no extra charge. The big tires, a comfort seat, and the soft grips, soak up the bumps pretty good when using 40-45 PSI in the tires (35-55 recommended). It weighs about 50 lbs with a comfort seat (advertised at 45lb), so this is no lightweight.
So why is it special?
Because they outfitted it with the Right Stuff for a transportation eBike. No mishmash of eBike components. This ride has a 100% Bosch eBike system. Powered by a 400 Wh Li 36 vdc removable/lockable battery, it uses a crank drive, not a cheap hub drive. While the bike is heavy, the 250 watt crank drive is more than enough to get the job done on the steep hills. That's because a crank drive generates torque BEFORE the gearset, not at the axle. When you downshift, crank drive gives more EV torque, hub drives do not. Note that in Europe and some US states, eBikes are only legal up to certain limit. 20 mph of EV assist, and no adjustable throttle. But the gearbox effectively makes the Embark act like a throttle driven eBike. That requires a bit of explaining. Not only is the bike crank driven, it also has a Constantly Variable Transmission in the rear hub that will give a gear reduction of 380% but feels like more due to the electric assist. And it has no chain. Like Harleys and Zero Motorcycles, the Embark has a Gates Carbon Belt drive. Totally silent, and you are never waiting for a derailleur to engage. And no maintenance or grease on your clothes. Speaking of maintenance, the front and rear disc brakes are powerful and smooth hydraulic units. The headlight and taillight drive off the EV battery. The Cree LED headlight is very good, you won't need to replace it, and the taillight flashes for better visibility.
To ride it, you charge the battery, which I'm guessing takes about 3 hrs max, but I haven't emptied it yet. You can charge it on the bike or off the bike with the included Bosch charger. The battery itself has 5 bar charge indicator on it, so you can tell what it's status is off-the-bike. And like I said, the battery locks to the frame securely, nobody is going to steal the battery. There is no 'ignition' key, you push a button on the Bosch controller on the left side handlebar to wake it up. The lights, EV mode, speedo, trip meter, charge status, lights, are all controlled with 4 large simple buttons using your thumb or index finger. Since it's not allowed to have have a twist grip throttle by law, it has 6 power settings, Off, Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo, and Walk (for walking it up a hill) controlled easily with your left thumb while riding , and your right hand controls the CVT by twisting the grip. Top away from you for climbing, top towards you for higher speeds. The motor only operates when you pedal, otherwise it freewheels. So it's not a moped, you must rotate the crank to activate the motor.
It's an easy bike to ride, and comfy with a comfort seat. It will climb any hill a car will. It has excellent range. But it's no performance bike. It will allow you to get from point A to point B in comfort and safety with little maintenance. It does it's intended purpose with excellence. It took to the steepest hill in our area just to see what it will do, and I was not disappointed.
But everything can be improved, and the Embark is no exception. Documentation is terrible. Unless you are experienced at assembling modern bikes, you should probably have someone do it for you. The 'owners manual' has virtually zero content about about the Embark, only the other models. They do have some YouTube videos to help, but they don't cover everything. Like the ability to charge the battery without removing it is not covered. The charge port is hidden. Why do I know this? Remember I said the battery locks to the frame? Well Bosch's Battery Lock Key did not work in Bosch's battery lock. I can't remove the battery for now. To their credit, they get back with me immediately when I requested help on a Saturday morning. Another issue would be the Presta valves. For easy maintenance, Schrader (like on cars and motorcycles) valves are much better. And the last issue? Come on, I know you've wondering if you made it this far, how much? It's not a cheap date. Costco has the best price at $2999.99
. If you want a second battery, prepare to spend Bosch money for it. ~$700 for the 400 Wh and $865 for the 500 Wh.
Is it worth it? If you are looking for car replacement and live where an eBike will get you to work, there are few finer. Save a lot of money on transportation by having a reliable eBike.