Still very rare in the US, but bikes for transportation are rare too. Some commentary - very little use information is out on the Copenhagen Wheel, something that could turn existing American bikes into inexpensive ebikes - here is one high level review.
They aren't what most in the West would call "cars". Inexpensive and primative with lead acid batteries, no real safety features, and top speeds of under 40mph. What is probably important is a new class of manufacturer has sprung up and the segment is growing. If urban areas were to limit speeds to 20 to 30 mph as is the case in some European countries they could become much more important. They may become important in third world use.
Fifty years ago the Savannah cargo ship was supposed to showcase commercial nuclear propulsion.. it was an expensive flop.
Sleek in shape, painted red and white, its interior decorated in what was then ultra-modern chrome, the NS Savannah wasn't quite like any other cargo ship.
It had facilities for passengers. The 600ft, 12,000-ton ship boasted a cinema, veranda bar and swimming pool. The cabins had no curtains. Instead, "polarised" windows, designed to cut glare, lined the sides of staterooms.
The ship was one of the few to spring directly from the imagination of a US president. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower had made his famous Atoms for Peace speech, attempting to balance the growing fear of nuclear apocalypse with optimism about the possibility of civilian use of atomic energy.
A crash program to cobble together a fast train with a few surplus jet engines mounted on a lightweight commuter train car. The frontal area is low on trains and a slightly more aerodynamic shape was added. Low rolling resistance and long areas for acceleration permitted some high speeds for the day.
The US has seen an increase in efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian traffic safety. There has been an increase in non-automobile local transportation, but much needs to be done to achieve safety and usage levels seen in Europe.
Many European communities have adopted 30 km/h (about 20 mph) speed limits in urban and/or residential areas. Traffic related deaths and injures drop dramatically - a summary of experiences in the UK.
Cost effective: Total 20 is affordable at £3 per head6. With a road death valued at £1.689m and a serious casualty at £189k a Total 20 policy must only prevent one death or 3 serious casualties to pay back its one off implementation cost for a 190,000 population. Warrington had first year rates of return of 800% on casualty prevention. Active travel increases. Bristol found using a mean of a 23% increase in walking and a 20.5% increase in cycling that for each £1 spent the return on investment for walking is £24.72 and cycling is £7.47 and that cyclist casualty numbers fell by around 40%. Savings from the health economic gains from increased activity outweigh those of casualty avoidance alone by ratio of 1.6:1, even before disability benefits and obesity changes to the next least unfit cohort of people who begin exercising more.