Citi Bike’s electric-powered bicycle fleet is getting a boost of 1,400 “sleek” new e-bikes with fancy LED screens and double the battery capacity.
The new bikes will speed up faster than the existing 5,000-bike e-bike fleet run by Lyft, a company spokesman said, and travel 55 to 60 miles before losing battery. The existing fleet’s batteries average 25 miles before gassing out, the spokesman said.
The bikes will initially only roll out for Citi Bike members, the company said. Non-members will be able to enroll in a free 14-day trial using their phones at bike-share stations.
Citi Bike hopes to lure new riders with the bikes, which compared to the existing e-bikes also have more height-adaptable seats and “retro-flective” white paint that glows from headlights.
Lyft believes the LED screen will assist riders in locking and unlocking their bikes, and may someday provide navigation as well.
Unlike the existing bikes, the new model’s battery will be located within the bike.
“We think about what are features that really allow someone for the first time to ride a bike really easily,” Citi Bike General Manager Laura Fox said.
The bike also includes new “safety features,” the spokesman said — if the bikes detects “anything abnormal,” it will stop functioning.
The e-bikes will be available to all Citi Bike riders by the fall, the company said. Everyone else will still have access to the older model, which does not have a timeline to be phased out. Four-fifths of the electric fleet will consist of the new bikes by the end of the year.
The older bikes were introduced two years ago, after Citi Bike’s initial round of electric bikes had to be pulled in 2019 due to safety issues.