Lime’s new electric bike has an exchangeable battery that also works with his scooters – TechCrunch

Lime is finally keeping its promise to deliver its Gen4 electric bike to the streets after first announcing its intention to introduce the new hardware last March. The new bikes will have an exchangeable battery which is interchangeable with Lime’s latest generation of electric scooters.

The micromobility operator on Wednesday launched 250 of its new bikes in Washington, DC, where it plans to gradually replace the full fleet of 2,500 electric bikes by April, according to Russell Murphy, senior director of corporate communications. Lime will continue to launch in cities around the world, replacing older generations with the new model in each city over the next year or so.

The move is part of a $ 50 million investment the company has made to develop the new electric bike and expand it to 25 other cities in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. .

The latest generation of Lime electric bikes is present in 50 markets around the world, including London, Seattle, Paris, Denver and soon Charleston, South Carolina. Lime originally planned to launch the Gen4 electric bike in the summer of 2021, but had to delay with the exception of a few riders last fall due to supply chain issues, Murphy said.

The swappable battery is the most notable feature of Lime’s new green and white bike, which matches the look of Lime’s latest Gen4 scooter.

“It’s a potential leap forward for the industry,” Murphy told TechCrunch. “If you have a battery between vehicle types, you can operate a more streamlined multimodal fleet. “

Lime expects that upgrading the battery will result in improved unit economy. Since the vehicles won’t have to be picked up, there will be fewer operational tasks, which tend to be one of the highest costs associated with running a shared micromobility business. At the same time, by only needing to swap out the battery, there will be more vehicles on the street for longer, providing better reliability for drivers and higher earning potential, Murphy said.

“It also means that a team can do all the charging tasks instead of having one charging team for the bikes and one for the scooters,” he said.

The new electric bike will also have an improved motor that will help cyclists climb hills more easily, a phone holder that charges smartphones, a new handlebar screen that matches that of the Gen4 scooter and a two-speed automatic transmission that allows a start, rather than having to pedal a little to start the engine.

Lime’s plans to continue evolving its e-bikes are in line with the company’s stated goals of refreshing a significant portion of its fleet, moving to more cities, and developing new technology to win more RFPs. of cities. In November, the micromobility giant closed a $ 523 million increase in convertible debt and term debt financing, potentially the company’s last round of funding before its IPO this year.

As Lime prepares for public procurement, it strives to strengthen its considerable grip on the industry by becoming more operationally efficient and fine-tuning its hardware, and the introduction of this improved electric bike reinforces that. . Meanwhile, as Lime tries to grab any permits he can get his hands on, Ford-owned competitor Spin last week shared plans to lay off a quarter of his staff as part of his process. restructuring to leave the permit markets open. Spin is currently shutting down operations in a few US markets, all markets in Germany and Portugal, and could close in Spain as early as February.

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