Lime is getting again to its roots. The scooter firm previously often known as LimeBike says it will make investments $50 million to develop its shared electrical bicycle community, together with including a new mannequin of motorcycle and doubling the variety of cities during which it operates.
Lime bought its begin with shared bikes, solely to shortly pivot after Chook first launched the idea of dockless electrical scooters in 2017. The corporate dropped the “bike” from its title and began phasing out its bikes in 2019. However the next yr, Lime acquired bike-share firm Soar from Uber, and all of a sudden, bikes have been again on the menu.
50 new cities by the beginning of 2022
Now, the corporate is doubling down on shared electrical bikes, with plans to launch in “a dozen” new cities in North America by the top of the yr, in addition to dozens extra in Europe and different markets. In complete, the corporate plans to have its bikes in 50 new cities by the beginning of 2022, roughly quadrupling its fleet dimension.
The $50 million funding will largely go towards designing, manufacturing, and assembling its next-generation bike, which will begin rolling out this summer time. The brand new mannequin will include a extra highly effective 350-watt motor and a swappable battery able to as much as 25 miles of vary.
The battery can be interchangeable with those that energy Lime’s Gen4 electrical scooters, permitting for a standardized battery charging operation. A two-speed gear shifter will assist with these hill climbs, and an built-in, electronically managed hub lock will assist preserve the bike protected from theft and vandalism.
350-watt motor and a swappable battery
There are different new options on the bike: the handlebars are being changed with ones much like Lime’s scooters, there’s a cellphone holder within the entrance basket, and the bike will be capable to hit speeds of as much as 20mph (relying on native rules). It weighs 72 kilos, which is heavier than the 65-pound electrical Citi Bikes.
Lime will preserve its cherry-red Soar bikes in operation, with no plans to part these out in favor of the brand new Lime-branded e-bikes. The corporate has acknowledged that it needs to be a multimodal supplier of many various kinds of low-speed, electrical autos. Final yr, Lime added pedal-less e-bikes from Wheels to its app in a number of cities as a part of a new effort to combine third-party micromobility suppliers. And just lately, it introduced plans to introduce electrical mopeds in Paris and Washington, DC.
The brand new funding in e-bikes comes as biking is surging across the globe, with bike gross sales — and particularly e-bike gross sales — hitting document numbers. Laws has been launched within the US to make e-bikes extra reasonably priced. And bike-share techniques are including extra electrical fashions to their fleets within the hopes of attracting extra members. Lime says its prospects took greater than 2.5 million rides on its e-bikes final yr, with the corporate anticipating that quantity to develop considerably in 2021.