Lime announced Monday that $ 50 million had been allocated to operate bicycle parts. This investment was used to develop a new e-bike and will fund expansion this year to an additional 25 cities in North America, Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand.
If the company achieves its goal, Lime’s bike share service will be available in 50 cities worldwide by the end of 2021.
The latest generation e-bike, known internally as the 6.0, has one replaceable battery that is replaceable with the latest Lime scooter. Other improvements to the e-bike include increased engine power, a phone holder, a new handlebar display, an electric lock that replaces the previous generation’s cable lock, and an automatic two-speed gearbox. The new motorcycles are expected to hit the market and scale this summer.
The hardware upgrade is based on the 5.8, a bike developed by Jump that should be used in 2020. That never happened on a large scale as Uber, which owned Jump, relocated the device to Lime as part of an announced complex round of investments of $ 170 million in May.
“Jump made great hardware,” Lime President Joe Kraus said in a recent interview. “And we’ve made a few other improvements with the new bike.”
The hardware upgrades and expansions were financed from their own resources, not from new financing from external investors, said Kraus. Funding was possible as a result of Lime’s first full quarter of profitability in 2020, the company said.
“We have found out how we can be profitable and we are funding this,” said Kraus.
In addition to adding a new motor to the bike, Lime moved its location to make it easier to handle at low speeds and enough power to climb hills, Kraus said. The removable battery is perhaps the most important upgrade that is directly tied to the pursuit of profitability, added Kraus.
“When our operations teams are out in town, they take care of the bikes and fleet of scooters so we can both operate profitably and continue to have affordable prices,” he added.
Lime’s investment in the e-bike operation comes one month after the announcement of plans to expand the micromobility platform to include electric mopeds, as the startup covers the spectrum of inner-city trips from trips to the corner shop to longer trips to would like to use eight kilometers. Lime begins the effort by deploying 600 electric mopeds on its platform in Washington DC this spring. The company is also working with officials to control the mopeds in Paris. After all, the mopeds will be offered in a “handful of cities” over the next few months.
“This idea of how more trips can be made five miles within a city is part of the reason why we continue to offer multimodalities,” said Kraus. “When we add a new modality such as bicycles to a scooter city or when we add scooters to a bike city, both modalities are increasingly used.”