Lime eyes ebike expansion with new ride and massive investment
Shared mobility company Lime has added a new ebike to its fleet, a step-through with automatic transmission and a removable battery that can also be used in the firm's Gen4 e-scooter.
Whether traveling to work, going shopping or just out for pleasure, interest in bicycles and ebikes as a means of getting where you need to be has seen a notable rise of late. But buying into the pedal-assist last-mile-transport ride trend can leave your savings with quite a large hole in them, so for those who can't afford to join the ebike party, temporary hires could be the answer.
After seeing its first quarter of profitability in 2020, Lime is making a US$50 million investment in a new ebike push, aiming to make its ebike hire service available in 25 new cities – mostly in Europe and North America (as well as Australia and New Zealand) – during 2021.
"As we build out the Lime platform to serve any trip under five miles, e-bikes are a key piece of the puzzle, providing a perfect option for medium-length trips," said Lime's CEO, Wayne ting. "That’s why we’re making substantial investments to upgrade our world-class e-bike and bring it to more cities across the globe, giving riders a new and exciting way to leave the car behind."
To meet an expected uptick in demand for its services this year, the company has ordered a new ebike, which is set to roll out during the (northern) summer.
Lime says that its "game changer" swappable battery will be good for up to 25 miles (40 km) of per-charge range and allow the company to "streamline operations across vehicle types," while it's also expected to lead to a drop in trips being made by the firm's operations support vans.
The new ebike features an automatic two-speed transmission that puts the previous ebike's gears into retirement for the promise of an easier and smoother ride, and the 350-W motor will offer pedal assist up to 20 mph (32 km/h). Lime says that riders can also look forward to more power to help tackle inclines.
Elsewhere, the ebike features a standardized handlebar display that will be familiar to Lime scooter riders, there's a phone holder so users can make use of their smartphones for navigation, and an integrated rear hub lock to deter would-be thieves.
The company has also partnered with the League of American Bicyclists, a US bike safety organization, for an education campaign, the design of funky new graphics, promotions and more.