Lime is getting again to its roots. The scooter firm previously generally known as LimeBike says it should make investments $50 million to develop its shared electrical bicycle community, together with including a brand new mannequin of motorcycle and doubling the variety of cities during which it operates.
Lime received its begin with shared bikes, solely to shortly pivot after Hen first launched the idea of dockless electrical scooters in 2017. The corporate dropped the “bike” from its identify and began phasing out its bikes in 2019. However the next 12 months, Lime acquired bike-share firm Bounce from Uber, and instantly, bikes had been again on the menu.
Now, the corporate is doubling down on shared electrical bikes, with plans to launch in “a dozen” new cities in North America by the tip of the 12 months, in addition to dozens extra in Europe and different markets. In whole, 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 is able to 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 maintain the bike secure from theft and vandalism.
There are different new options on the bike: the handlebars are being changed with ones much like Lime’s scooters, there’s a telephone holder within the entrance basket, and the bike will be capable of hit speeds of as much as 20mph (relying on native laws). It weighs 72 kilos, which is heavier than the 65-pound electrical Citi Bikes.
Lime will maintain its cherry-red Jump bikes in operation, with no plans to section these out in favor of the brand new Lime-branded e-bikes. The corporate has acknowledged that it needs to be a multimodal provider of many different types of low-speed, electric vehicles. Final 12 months, Lime added pedal-less e-bikes from Wheels to its app in a number of cities as a part of a brand new effort to combine third-party micromobility suppliers. And not too long ago, it introduced plans to introduce electric mopeds in Paris and Washington, DC.
The brand new funding in e-bikes comes as cycling is surging around the globe, with bike gross sales — and particularly e-bike gross sales — hitting report numbers. Legislation has been introduced within the US to make e-bikes extra inexpensive. And bike-share programs 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 12 months, with the corporate anticipating that quantity to develop considerably in 2021.