Chinese bike share giant Mobike has launched an e-bike designed for dockless sharing. Chinese Mobike own more hire bikes than any other company in the world with over 9 million bikes in 200 cities around the world. This entry into the e-bike industry is therefore a significant move. According to founder and CEO of Mobike Weiwei Hu, the average speed of cars in cities is now just 25 kph. This e-bike can travel at 30 kph using only the electric motor and over 70 kph using the hybrid mode.
“We’re confident that it will become en efficient and superior choice in an era of ever worsening traffic.” Weiwei Hu, Founder and CEO of Mobike
The bike has been designed with many features to make it easy and practical to use. The chain is fully enclosed while the seat is adjustable one-handed. Foam filled tires from Dow Chemical, using Olefin Block Copolymer foaming technology, are claimed to be 20-30 percent lighter than conventional tires.
“The phone holder makes it easier for you to explore the city with cellphone navigation” Shusan Gao, Head of Bike Product, Mobike
The idea of a dockless sharing e-bike does seem a little strange, however, since e-bikes need to get plugged in to charge. It appears that Mobike intends the batteries to be removed for charging in a separate charging station.
“Like all Mobikes, every bicycle is IoT connected. We can monitor the health status of each bike in real time through our powerful cloud technology. In addition to the e-bike itself we have also specially designed a smart charging unit.” Jieli Li, Hardware VP, Mobike
It is yet to be seen how the batteries will be swopped and placed in the charging units. Perhaps Mobike will employ service technicians who will perform this task although the logistics of keeping the bike fleet charged appears to be a considerable overhead.