Greg Lewis and Anna Stevens are brand new to San Juan Island as of May 2020. After spending many years visiting the island, they finally got their chance to relocate when they bought Susie’s Mopeds.
Despite making the move right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shop has been busy and they have no shortage of exciting dreams for how they’d like to shape the business. Right now, the mopeds are primarily gas powered but they have plans to transition the fleet to electric. They love the idea of cleaner operations – less noise, and less pollution. Sustainable energy independence feels especially important on an island – to be less reliant on a big power cable that runs along the ocean floor.
This year they invested in four electric mopeds and some new electric bicycles – also known as “eBikes.” They’ve been working with Rainshadow Solar to add solar panels to their repair shop building, which will generate the power they need to charge up their growing fleet of electric vehicles and bikes. They would like to go completely electric over the next five years, despite a few challenges including increased cost.
“It’s exciting to have this full circle energy production to power our business,” says Greg. “From the solar array to the electric mopeds – it just makes sense – this is the future.” Anna is inspired by her 20- year-old son: “He reminds us of the future and preparing this world not just for our time but for the generations to come. What more can we be doing?”
They live on their 55-foot sailboat which, last summer, they ran completely on solar power while anchored out just north of the main marina. You might find these two at Cattle Point Lighthouse or Westcott Bay Oysters enjoying island life – that is when they get a break from the business.
“Being an islander means being a good neighbor – we are dependent on each other and doing the right thing matters.”
Tourists aren’t the only ones who benefit from this cleaner, greener fleet: electric transportation reduces air and water pollution – and, working together as a county, we start to create a more sustainable model for all who visit. Locals are welcome to come and give the eBikes a spin; they are available for rent and make a fun (and less strenuous) island ride.