Happy new E-year!!
2018 will be electric, at least in the field of bike-sharing! On january 9th, 3 companies unveiled their E-bike models that will hit the streets in the beginning of the year, during CES Las Vegas.
Motivate, the station-based solution provider, will launch in april a one year/250 bikes pilot in the streets of San Francisco, where they operate the Ford GoBike scheme. They will be competing with Jump, who also receive a permit to operate 250 E-bikes. The bikes, produced by the local start-up GenZe, will integrate 345Ah battery, allowing an important range, and will lock in classic docks… so we they will not be charged automatically! Maybe Motivate will develop charging docks, but they did not present it.
Coming soon to a bike lane near you, San Francisco! https://t.co/mg14DVfLDH
— Motivate (@motivate_co) 9 janvier 2018
LimeBike released the Lime-E, that will arrive by the end of january in Miami, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. The bike is classically equipped with a 250W engine, and a battery offering a 62 miles range. All the system is at the back of the bike (rack battery, rear hub engine), that will surely unbalance the bike…
It’s ELECTRIC! ⚡️⚡️⚡️
We’re beyond excited to announce the addition of our BRAND NEW Electric-Assist bikes, known as Lime-E, to the LimeBike fleet! Available later this month! https://t.co/djCjVzqN5t#CES2018#limebikenation#rideout
— LimeBike (@limebike) 9 janvier 2018
Spin follows the lead with its own E-bike, planning to launch it in Miami, University of California San Diego and Rochester Institute of Technology, with no announced date so far. The bike is equipped with a 250W engine, and has a 50 miles range. Unlike their concurrent Lime Bike, they chose to integrate the battery in the diagonal tube, which is to me a good solution both for bike balance and battery securing.
Breaking News: Spin unveils its stationless electric bike!
For sure there has been a rush for the first announce, and we will see in the next couple of weeks, or months, the solutions of other providers (Mobike, Ofo). The E-bike solution will clearly bring more people to ride bike, it is clearly a good thing!
What I am more worried about is the charging process for these 3 solutions (and generally for dockless E-bikeshare). It will require more staff both for monitoring and maintenance, and will be a huge challenge for the maintenance staff not to waste time and money by optimising their shifts. Otherwise, it will be a huge challenge for the user to find an E-Bike with a charged battery!