Today was a car replacement day with the electric Yuba Mundo. My wife and child rode it about 20 miles around town for various trips that would have otherwise been done by car. I pedaled as hard as I could to keep up. Smiling.
We stopped by the grocery on the way home and tossed a 14 lb bag of cat food into the giant Go Getter bag and continued on.
Our afternoon trip involved two stops on opposite ends of town, about 11 miles total for that leg. I might have opted for the car myself, if I needed to bike my daughter that far without electric.
The electric assist made for a nice balance. My wife got a moderate amount of exercise from steady pedaling, and used some assist to still get around town quickly.
The same distance in our car would have consumed about a gallon of gasoline, at about a cost of about $2.50 at current prices. However, the equivalent human labor to match the energy in a gallon of gas would be almost 500 hours. Of all this energy, only about 0.3% goes to moving the driver around. About 85% is lost to inefficiency in the conversion progress, and much of the remainder goes towards moving the approximately 4,000 pound metal box. Gary Flomenhost has more on the efficiency of gas engines.
But I can't see we were thinking too much about these things as we rode. The weather was warm and sunny, traffic was light, and our blue balloon bounced in the breeze as we rode.