Count Farhad Manjoo as a convert to the electric bicycle camp. He took a loaner for a week, pronounced his inaugural ride "incredible," and generally thinks they're a legitimate way to get more people on two wheels and fewer on four. They've got limitations, of course—the hazards of busy streets, theft, worrying about ranges on a full charge—but he argues in Slate that electric bikes ($1,500 to $3,000) have a place in the mosaic of greener travel.
"If you factor in traffic, time to park, and the way bikers casually (if illegally) whiz through stop signs and traffic lights, you can travel a five-mile-or-so distance on an electric bike faster than you can in a car," he writes. "If you work a little too far away from home for walking or riding a traditional bike (or if you'd prefer not to be sweaty when you get in to the office), the electric bike can be an ideal way to commute, especially if you work in a place where parking a car is next to impossible."