Bird expands shared micromobility options with first ebike
Shared electric micromobility company Bird currently operates fleets of e-scooters in more than 250 cities across the world, and is now rolling out another option for city commuters – its first ebike, the Bird Bike.
As we noted when shared mobility company Lime launched a new ebike in March, though interest in riding bicycles and ebikes has sky-rocketed recently, not everyone can afford the often high price tags associated with the latter. This is where paying a small fee for a shared e-mobility ride can help.
"Shared e-scooters catapulted shared micromobility to the center stage of eco-friendly transportation in cities by providing more than 150 million zero-emission trips globally," said Bird's founder and CEO, Travis VanderZanden. "We are launching our shared Bird Bike and Smart Bikeshare platform to meet fast-growing demand from cities and riders for more sustainable transportation options while expanding our serviceable addressable market by five billion trips per year."
Wearing robin egg blue, the Bird Bike is built around a 75-lb (34-kg) aerospace-grade aluminum alloy step-through frame, which along with the adjustable seat should make the ebike available to riders of various heights.
The company isn't giving away specs on the rear-hub motor, only saying that it's "high powered," but is reporting that it's capable of a top assist speed of 15.5 mph (25 km/h) and can help smooth out inclines of up to 20 percent. Riders can get motor assist for up to 56 miles (90 km) per charge of the integrated battery.
The ebike rolls on 26-inch pneumatic tires, there's a covered fender to the rear with integrated tail-light (to match the built-in headlight at the front), and stopping power is provided by dual drum braking. A large digital display offers audible voice prompts, the sturdy front basket can be used to haul shopping, host a work bag, small backpack and so on, and a built-in cable lock will help keep the ride secure when parked up.
Bird can geofence the ebike to slow or stop the motor in designated areas, and will be able to keep a check on the ebike's health thanks to onboard diagnostics, meaning it can keep more working ebikes on the road and fewer unavailable for hire.
The company intends to roll out its ebike option to select cities in North America, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and France later this year – to areas that don't already have ebike or e-scooter sharing services, as well as those wishing to supplement existing operations.
As with its e-scooter operations, Bird will also eye collaborations with local shared mobility providers, and is working with transport organizations like the North American Bikeshare Association on service integrations, too.
"Cities and riders are best served by efficient, collaborative and non-monopolized transportation networks," said VanderZanden. "Our vision of smart, responsible bike sharing is to provide the best shared bikes and operations when cities need them, and having the foresight to offer the best support and multimodal integrations when they don’t. Cities, people and the planet win when there is greater access to eco-friendly transportation."