I happened to be in Austin Texas and had the opportunity to rent an electric hybrid bike for 15 days. I used it for everything and put nearly 300 miles on the bike. My conclusion was that it is an amazing thing with big implications for Indiana.
From Urbndsgn.com they state that hoosiers take 2.9% of their trips by walking or biking, 1.8% by bus and 92.2% by car. The state is getting better bike trails and in Indianapolis there are very very good biking trails. Commuting by bike to work is very possible with the nice trails, www.IndyCog.com and the bike hub. Indianapolis has very nice bike only trails to use.
One problem is current non bikers just don't see themselves going 10 miles to work because they are not fit enough or it is too far or whatever.
An Electric Hybrid bike pedals like any other bike and you can get help up the hills and maybe just a touch of power to keep you going at max speed. The top speed of the electric motor is 20 mph.
You can ride the bike like a scooter and go 20 miles, but you can go twice as far if you pedal too. It is a lot more fun to pedal and the way I drove it was to mostly pedal, but use the motor to get help up the hills and help getting started.
According to www.urbndsgn.com 45% of indy residents commute less than 10 miles to work and this would be perfect by bike. There is a lot of room to use bikes to lessen the use of cars. If everybody did a few more bike trips and a few less car trips that would be a lot of gas saved and money saved. Rediscover your bike and check out the current bike trails and give it a try.
Looking at the stats it seems to me that the people would rather bike and walk than take the bus, so if we want to use our cars less we need to encourage more biking. Electric bikes are perfect for getting more people interested in biking.
I could not find a place to rent electric bikes in Indianapolis, but if you get a chance check out this Austin, Texas Electric Bike Rental company called Rocket Electrics.
My next step is to look around Indy and see what is going on with electric bikes.