I have been thinking about buying an electric bicycle but I wanted to ride one first. There is nothing like hands on experience to sort out pros and cons. Electric bikes are costly and I did not want to make an expensive mistake because of some fine print problem. You rarely see electric bikes in the UK, though I saw a lot when I was in Italy last year.
Parsley Hay is the site of an old railway station in Derbyshire's Peak District National Park. It is at the junction of two railway lines that have been converted to cycleways. The centre there has two electric bikes [and lots of other bikes] which they rent out. I hired one for £15.50 for four hours and set out down the Tissington Trail.
It was a nice day out but I do not think I will be buying an electric bike just yet.
One issue is weight. This is not a problem when riding, but an electric bike would be difficult to transport. I would not like to have to lift one on and off a bike rack. I would also have to lift one up several steps to get it in my house. If the frame could be lightened [perhaps by replacing metal frames by bamboo [see this BBC video] and the battery pack made easier to remove that might help.
Battery power is another, though much less important, issue. This might be easily solved by making it easy to add a second power pack when required.
The final issue is cost. There are several manufacturers but none has managed to achieve economies of scale. When the Henry Ford of electric bikes appears prices should fall a lot.