Uber-Backed Electric Bike Start-Up Enters UK

An “electric-assist” bicycle hire start-up backed by Uber is deploying its first UK fleet of bikes.

Lime’s bikes are fitted with rechargeable lithium batteries and 250-watt motors. The company is launching them in Milton Keynes, south-central England, a town rapidly developing a reputation as a test site for mobility, connected, and autonomous vehicle services.

Lime UK general manager Jaanaki Momaya said: “We’re excited to provide residents and visitors to Milton Keynes with a healthy, accessible, and emission-free way to get around … this is a dynamic city at the forefront of transport innovation, and we’re thrilled to add electric bicycles to that list.” Lime says its bikes will cost 15p (19 cents) per minute to ride, following the payment of a £1 ($1.27) unlocking fee.

The company claims to have worked with the local council, police force, and bicycling advocacy groups on the introduction of its services to the town. In July, Lime secured $335M in funding from investors including Uber, Alphabet, and GV, formerly Google Ventures.


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