Lime’s $50 million investment in global e-bike expansion is finally showing results. The company’s fourth-generation electric bicycles are launching this week in Washington, D.C., with plans to expand the fleet to other cities like Atlanta and Charleston by spring.
The Gen4 e-bike is a significant step up from previous models, complete with a more powerful electric motor, swappable batteries, and even a phone holder. Most of the $50 million investment is going toward the production of these bikes, though some of the cash will be used to bring fleets of the bikes to various cities around the world. Lime says its bikes are now available for rental in 50 cities globally.
In just a few years’ time, Lime has gone from being a mostly unknown mobility company to one of the best-known short-term rental services across the U.S. Now it’s using that momentum to aim for total global market domination.
Meet the Gen4 — The newest version of Lime’s green-and-white e-bike is better for riders and for the company. That’s mostly made possible by those new interchangeable batteries. They provide up to 25 miles of range on a single charge — pretty standard for the industry — but can easily be swapped out with fully charged ones.
If Lime finds a significant portion of its fleet is low on battery, employees can just go around and swap them out. They’re actually the same batteries used by the company’s electric scooters. The whole process is standardized, now; customers will encounter fewer units at low charge levels, and Lime will face fewer logistical nightmares in keeping its fleets charged.
The Gen4 bike also includes a 350-watt electric motor that should make it easier for riders to pedal up hills. That, coupled with a new automatic two-speed transmission, will generally allow for smoother rides all around. And the phone holder is a nice touch — it’ll make navigating much easier.
Onward and upward — Lime is in it for the long run. It would be difficult to argue against that, now. The company has gone through some extreme ups and downs to get here, but it’s all upward momentum in 2022.
Lime’s first claim to fame was its dockless e-scooters — you know, the bright green ones often found strewn across the sidewalk in the most inconvenient of places. The e-scooter program on its own wasn’t enough to turn a profit, though. By early 2020, Lime found itself pulling the scooters out of several cities and laying off about 14 percent of its staff.
But the remainder of 2020 proved more fruitful for Lime. Enough so, in fact, that the company was able to add electric mopeds to its lineup just a year later. Hopefully you’re not too tired of seeing the company’s signature green-and-white hardware around your city — we’d expect you’re about to see even more of it.