While many residents in SF do try to be as environmentally-conscious as they can it’s been difficult to get drivers to give up their cars. After all, Muni is a hot mess and just the thought of huffing on a bike up the steep hills is enough for one to dismiss that idea altogether.

But now, there just may be an alternative. Introducing electric bikes.

Electric bikes, or ebikes, look and work just like a normal bike except that it has an electric motor. So you’d be able to tackle those hill without even working up a sweat. But how exactly does it work?

The folks at The New Wheel in North Beach would love to show you how. They’ve set up a new showroom (sharing space with Dylan’s Tours) at 782

Columbus Ave and you can stop by any day of the week, 8am – 6pm, to take a test ride on one of their models – the Ohm Urban XU700 and the Sanyo Eneloop – up Telegraph Hill.

According to the company’s web site the electric motor works as an “intelligent energy management system” that “coupled with a regenerative motor that charges your battery when you brake, makes for impressive performance of up to 74 miles on a single charge for the Ohm, and up to 40 miles for the Sanyo. In hilly San Francisco with a high assistance, you can expect somewhere closer to 30-40 miles for the Ohm, and closer to 20 miles for the Sanyo.”

As for charging the battery, you can just plug it into a wall socket; a full charge take up to 3 hours and a quick charge as little as 20 minutes. But the bikes are heavy: The Ohm is 51lbs and the Sanya is 48 lbs.

For more info, you can go here.

Or watch this video:

Electric Bicycles in San Francisco – The New Wheel from The New Wheel on Vimeo.

Photo credit: The New Wheel