I came home from Costa Rica this week to find a new battery from Pedego on my doorstep. I have been test riding the Pedego Comfort Cruiser electric bike for the past year and was excited when they let me know about their new 2010 battery that would offer a longer range at a lower weight. I popped it on the bike and cruised around town yesterday and am happy to report that it's snappy and responsive and feels markedly lighter than last year's model. I've been told that I'm the first one outside Pedego to ride with this new battery so this thing represents the latest and greatest in their battery line. They'll be available for sale sometime this summer.

The Pedego folks gave me some details about the fast pace of e-bike battery technology.

Two years ago, your average 36-volt, 10-amp/hour e-bike battery was lead acid and weighed 30 pounds. One year ago Pedego had a 36-volt, 10-amp/hour battery that was lithium manganese and weighed 11 pounds. Six months ago they shaved that weight down to 6 pounds.

The new battery they sent is a 36-volt, 15-amp/hour Lithium Polymer pack weighing under 9 pounds that will last 50 percent longer than last year's battery. This new battery should handle rides of more than 30 miles with ease — that's a big range. And let me tell you, the Pedego Comfort Cruiser really cruises. It will crank right up to 25 miles per hour on a flat surface without you doing any pedaling; a motivated rider can easily add another 5 to 10 miles per hour on top of what the battery will give you.

It's really exciting to watch electric battery technology progress. Battery power is a hot topic in technology right now, and a lot of smart people are spending a lot of money learning how to squeeze ever-increasing amounts of energy into smaller and smaller spaces. I love that electric bike batteries will benefit from advances made in the mobile gadgets and laptop battery technology. It's an exciting time to own an electric bike.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

First look: Pedego's new 2010 e-bike battery
Pedego electric bikes will have a battery available for sale this summer that will take you 50% farther than last year's model.