Lime is launching its new e-bike, the Gen4, in American cities soon. This is as a result of the announcement of new hardware made by the company last March.
The Gen4 e-bike comes with several upgrades.
The new bikes, for example, will have swappable batteries. Interestingly, the e-bike can use batteries from Lime’s latest e-scooters, bringing interoperability between two different electric vehicles.
Lime has launched 250 of the new e-bikes, and they are rolling out in Washington DC first. The company plans to swap out all the 2,500 last generation e-bikes in the city between now and April. This move will be replicated in cities where Lime operates worldwide by 2023. The upgrade is funded with a $50 million investment the micro-mobility company has made to develop and roll out the new e-bike in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. However, Lime will continue to operate the older e-bike in those cities until Gen4 can replace them.
Lime is flush with cash after raising $523 million through debt and loan financing last November. It will get another cash infusion when it goes public this year. The company will spend all the money refreshing its fleets, developing new technologies, and expanding into more cities globally.
Apart from the similar battery, the Gen4 e-bike matches Lime’s Gen4 scooter with its green and white color scheme.
The swappable battery will save on operating costs for Lime. For example, the new e-bikes do not have to be taken in to charge, which means considerable savings for a shared mobility operation. Previously, operational teams drove around in vans and transported the heavy bikes to charging centers. However, with Gen4, all the team has to do is change the batteries on the spot. Fueling costs will go down as it means fewer trips for the crew. Also, since the bikes do not have to be hauled in for charging, it means they spend more time on the streets, meaning more revenue for Lime.
The battery is not the only upgrade coming to the Gen4 bikes. The electric motor is more powerful and will help riders climb steeper inclines easily. To make rides smoother, the new e-bike has an automatic two-speed transmission. The new transmission means you do not need to pedal for a while for the motor to kick in. There is also a new phone holder for securing your device during rides.
Lime has also updated the display on the handlebar that looks like the one on the e-scooter. Also, the new e-bike is modular, enabling it to work for five years.
“The launch of our Gen4 e-bike is an important step toward achieving our mission of building a future where transportation is shared, affordable and carbon-free,” said Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime. “Standardizing our swappable batteries across modes is a leap forward for Lime and the broader micro-mobility industry, making operations more efficient and sustainable while improving reliability for riders.”
Last year, Lime riders took 12 million trips across the world’s major cities, with total rides doubling in some cities. The company acknowledges that more people are riding e-bikes because of the improvements cities have made on their roads to prioritize micro-mobility.
Deloitte reports that 120 million electric bikes will be bought between 2020 and 2023, while the New York Times reports that Americans bought more e-bikes than electric cars in 2020.
“In 2021, we saw massive jumps in Lime e-bike use in cities, helping to fuel a welcome e-bike boom globally,” said Wayne. “We’re excited for city residents around the world to try the Gen4 as a great way to leave the car behind.”