Depending on where you reside, car ownership may not be necessary for day-to-day life. For Bay Area residents who want to swap out their big ol' hunk of metal and four wheels for something that consumes less space and gas, a bike shop in San Francisco is here to serve your carbon footprint-reduction needs.
As Inhabitat reports, The New Wheel bike shop allows patrons to trade in their cars for an electronic bike. According to shop co-founder Brett Thurber, the initiative is all about helping commuters embrace bike riding, and this bike shop goes the extra mile to help customers who prefer handlebars over steering wheels.
The trade-in process is pretty straightforward: Bike shop staff inspects the car's condition and mileage and reports the details to Roadster.com, which specializes in selling used cars online and takes a proceed of the sales. After 48 hours, the shop will give the car owner an offer and give them a check in exchange for the vehicle if the proposed sale amount is accepted. Anyone who accepts an offer isn't obligated to purchase a bike with the funds, but Thurber is determined to use the trade-in program to show people that e-bikes are on par with cars.
"We've always been in the business of trying to figure out ways to get people out of cars and onto bikes," Thurber told Fast Company. "With all the traffic and even parking, it's not convenient anymore, in many instances, to own a car," he added. "I think the thing we're up against is just habit."
As appealing as they sound, electric bikes don't come cheap. The options run anywhere from $2500 to $10,000 at The New Wheel Bike Shop, but the shop doesn't want cost to deter potential car-to-bike converts. Financing is available for customers who can't afford to pay for an e-bike in full, as well as roadside assistance that comes with the perks of being picked up and given a free ride for up to 30 miles twice a year.