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Christchurch launches electric bike hire trial with Lime

The council wants to investigate how a shared e-bike service might fit into the transport network in the long-term in the New Zealand city.

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The council is keen to see what impact a shared e-bike service might have on travel patterns
The council is keen to see what impact a shared e-bike service might have on travel patterns

Christchurch City Council has given Lime a permit to operate up to 200 e-bikes in the city until the end of August 2021.


The micro-mobility company already operates a shared electric scooter scheme in the New Zealand city. It will start with an initial fleet of 100 e-bikes available for hire.

 

Pedal assist


Lime’s electric pedal assist bikes offers a 30-60km range and feature swappable lithium-ion batteries. QR codes are used to to unlock the e-bikes.


“E-scooters have changed the way that many people move around the city. We are keen to see what impact a shared e-bike service might have on travel patterns,’’ said councillor Mike Davidson, chair of the urban development and transport committee.


“We expect the e-bikes will be popular with people wanting to travel further distances or go up the hills.


“Giving Lime a permit to operate its shared e-bikes here on a trial basis gives us a chance to assess how such a service might fit into our transport network in the long-term.


“E-bikes are soaring in popularity worldwide. They are an environmentally friendly form of transport that could help us reduce congestion on our roads and lower carbon emissions, so it is a travel option we want to investigate thoroughly.’’


Lime’s New Zealand public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox said the company is excited to be able to bring its shared e-bike service to Christchurch.


“Christchurch people really embraced e-scooters and we are hoping they will be equally keen to make use of e-bikes. With both e-scooters and e-bikes available for hire around the city, it will be really easy for people to move around and get to the places that they want to go.’’

“Christchurch people really embraced e-scooters and we are hoping they will be equally keen to make use of e-bikes’’

E-bike users will need to comply with the usual road rules for biking and users will need to park out of the main thoroughfares on footpaths, as with e-scooters.


Lime’s e-bikes will be available for hire on both the Lime and Uber apps.


Lime operates in 120 cities in more than 30 countries. It has announced that it had moved into profitability and stressed that it proves operating shared, electric, car-alternative mobility options can be a sustainable service over the long-term. It also described it as validation that e-bikes, scooters and other light electric vehicles aren’t just a passing fad, but further a fundamental shift away from personal car use.


The company has also launched its latest Gen4 e-scooter model in Paris, which it expects to “far surpass” the more-than two-year lifespan of the Gen3 and provides a dual hand brake system to make slowing and stopping easier and more immediate when needed.


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