SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Edward Redd walked outside of the Capitol, mounted the electric bike by his side, and without breaking a sweat, he took off, doing circles around the Capitol building with effortless ease.
"It's awesome," the Logan Republican said. "You have to pedal, and … it kind of takes off while you pedal. It gives you assistance."
Batteries on the so-called "e-bikes" last for about 150 miles, Redd was told.
The bike he was riding Wednesday was on display during Clean Energy Business Day, an event at the Capitol co-hosted by Utah Clean Energy and sPower.
Outside, Tesla showed off some of its newest cars near the Capitol steps, and inside were a couple dozen kiosks representing some of the many clean energy businesses now thriving in Utah.
Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, kicked off the event, saying he has tried to be a student of clean energy. The economic opportunities for Utah in clean energy are huge, he said.3 comments on this story
"The free market will take over, and tremendous things are going to be happening," Handy said.
Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy, said her organization is a nonprofit started in 2001 that promotes energy-efficiency, renewable energy, and now electric vehicles.
When Utah Clean Energy got started, Wright said, "there was no rooftop solar, there were no policies to promote rooftop solar. … We weren't hardly doing any energy-efficiency, and now we have over 30,000 people working in energy-efficiency jobs (and) over 6,000 working in solar jobs."