Actually I don't believe $1000 to be too expensive considering what's involved in labor and materials cost to build something as slick. Hub motors are about as simple as it gets, and the brushless ones will last longer than any brushed scooter motor. (I've looked at other brushless motor options and the cost savings just isn't there.)
I also want something that retains as much the appearance of a regular bicycle as possible since our idiotic local laws limit electric assisted bicycle top speed to just 20MPH! Cripes, that's barely faster than I pedal on the average day.
Besides, if I do anything custom, it's going to involve using an E-tek motor and require vehicle registration.
I decided that I'm going to ride my bicycle to work as much as possible this summer. My initial motivation to do this was to get back in shape, and to prepare myself for the "Pittsburgh MS150" (which is a 150 mile bikeride that benefits Multiple Sclerosis) Then I thought about the money I'd save since I won't be driving my car.
My round-trip from home to work and back is 16.8 miles, and my Accord gets right around 30 mpg, gas around here is right around $3.00/gallon, so I figure I just saved $1.68.
So if I ride to work 4 days a week (although I work 5 days a week, but I'll give myself one day per week off incase the weather might be bad, or I need my car to transport stuff, or if I just don't feel like pedaling to work) for the next 16 weeks, assuming gas stays at $3/gallon this summer (which it most likely won't), I'll save around $107, plus I'm sure I'll drop a few pounds in the process.
you're actually save more than just gas money. each mile you drive you're spending money on tires, struts, oil, starter, alternator... and on and on.
Feels kinda wierd ... i put a digital meter on my bike and was quite shocked.
i used to drive to work which was 5 K away took me 15- 20 mins a day on average.... biking takes me 10-13 mins... did the math and i was actually geting a higher average speed and quicker time not to mention that going to work was all uphill...turns out that it was the idleing time that was killing my drive to work since on my bike i could just scoot through red lights and such.
now i'm looking to convert/rebuild a 1956 mini to electric
should be interesting ... this site has totally given me some amazing info... time to put it to the test .... if the guy that owns the mini will let me put it back together