COULD this be this year’s must-have for the environmentally-conscious commuter?

Electric bikes are billed as a cleaner, greener method of travel that can also help people become fitter and healthier.

Previously seen as a niche product, they have been tipped by experts to be a hit in 2014.

Southampton firm e-2wheels is certainly hoping so.

Chris Pope, director of the Commercial Road business, held an open day giving customers an insight into the products on offer.

He hopes the trendy A2B electric bikes can save users thousands of pounds per year in fuel costs and cut journey times by avoiding rush hour traffic jams.

He said: “With electrical bikes, most people don’t get what they are. It’s just riding a bike with a bit of help.

“As soon as people ride the bikes, they come back smiling.

“Since I have had this shop, even from day one, I use one to get to work and back.

“Straight away I saved £40 per week on fuel and it takes me 15 minutes to get to work – it doesn’t matter how bad the traffic is.”

Mr Pope said a number of shoppers tried the bikes out for themselves.

But he added that councils needed to be more accommodating for cyclists by creating more cycle routes, which will result in more people jumping on to the saddle.