Thieves Nab Fuel Film Group's Electric Bike

Josh Tickell and company meet some bad luck on the road as they promote biofuels, electric vehicles and other clean transportation.

Updated 10-1-09: I have confirmation from a member of the crew: "The authorities found it in the Bronx a few days ago. Although a little scratched up, it's in fine enough shape to travel (via trailer of course) to Chicago, in which it will be part of an exciting 'biodiesel and electric motorcycle' event, which will include environmentalist, actor and cast-member of Fuel Peter Fonda."

Updated 9-29-09: My source tells me that the electric motorcycle has been found in Brooklyn the Bronx.

fuel movie poster

Note: According to a commenter this article needs a slight clarification: "The 'bike' was a sporty, 55mph electric MOTORCYCLE, not a bike! Zero Motorcycles loaned it to us to display and demo while on tour." -Frank Caridi, Vehicle Czar for Josh Tickell and The Veggie Van Organization

Josh Tickell, the man behind the fantastic, award-winning Fuel film (now in theaters) has been traveling the country in Mr. Algaeus, an algae-powered plug-in hybrid Prius. Tickell and team have visited lawmakers in Washington and many other groups, trying to get the word out about clean transportation. They took an electric bike along for the ride -- but unfortunately thieves have made off with it, according to a source close to Tickell's camp (who asked not to be named).

Our source told us that the Fuel posse had rolled up to a hotel at one of their stops in the states, and were told that they could leave some gear safely stowed away. When they returned, their electric bike motorcycle had been boosted. The frame was apparently covered with markings from the film, so it stands out, and there aren't that many e-bikes in America yet (unlike in Europe and some other cycle-loving areas). It's unclear what kind of black market might exist for such a ride.

Perhaps the thieves are simply out joyriding. Our source says they could probably get about 50 miles out if the electric motor, before needing to charge back up (which we're told can be done from any standard outlet). That's a bit of a bummer when it comes to the theft: it would have been some karma if the ride could only be charged with a dedicated system, although on the other hand it's great to note that e-bikes (and motorcycles) are so adaptable.

It's true that bike theft is distressingly common (I myself have had two beloved cycles stolen, once from a college bike rack and once from a car). But we thought these thieves sounded particularly brazen, stealing gear from a filmmaker in the spotlight. No word on whether the bike was insured.

Go see Fuel so Josh and crew can buy some new bikes. In other EV (electric vehicle) news, Inhabitat has an item about promising progress on new electric charging stations on the road between LA and San Fran. Cool!

Tip of the hat to Lili Zarghami at Redbook for passing us the lead. Check out their 8 Easy At-Home Getaways.

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Brian Clark Howard

Brian Clark Howard

Brian Clark Howard is The Daily Green's home and tips editor.
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