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Idaho Guard uses electric bike at Gowen Field

By Ryan White | 124th Fighter Wing | Sept. 2, 2020

BOISE, Idaho – The 124th Logistics Readiness Squadron is using an Elf Solo solar bicycle to make small deliveries to other organizations at Gowen Field.

The bike, purchased with innovation funds, arrived Aug. 13. It provides savings in fuel and wear-and-tear on the squadron's delivery van while providing a unique opportunity for Airmen who operate the bike to exercise while they work. The bike can also be used by 124th LRS Airmen who need to travel to appointments around base.

"It's actually really easy to drive; it's really fun," says Staff Sgt. Daniel Walters, chief dispatcher of ground transportation with the 124th LRS. "It's very basic to operate. If you've ever pedaled a bike in your life, you can operate this. You pedal at first and then you have the electric assist available to get up to 20 miles an hour if you want."

The three-wheeled electric bike is equipped with brake lights, blinkers, headlights and a horn, enabling it to meet road safety standards, and it can carry up to 500 pounds, including the driver. Walters says a trailer may be purchased to transport larger items.

Part of why this bike was chosen over others was its charging flexibility. The bike has a covered canopy equipped with a solar panel that charges while in the sun and a plug-in charger that can be used when sunlight isn't available for charging. Walters expects more electric vehicles to begin appearing on Gowen Field in the future.

"Everything's going green," says Walters. "All-electric is the way of the future. I think that's the way the military is going and the way we should go."