LimeBike rolls out electric scooters, electric-assist bikes
Micaela Powers | Wednesday, March 21, 2018
With the launch of two electric transportation products, LimeBike is taking the legwork out of biking. On Feb. 12, the company rolled out the Lime-E, an electric-assist bike, and the Lime-S, an electric scooter.
According to LimeBike’s website, both the bike and scooter have 250-watt motors that power each product forward and cost $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to ride. This is more expensive than the standard LimeBikes currently populating Notre Dame and South Bend, which are $1 per 30 minutes for the general public and $0.50 per 30 minutes for those who sign up with a .edu email address.
The Lime-S and the Lime-E can each reach speeds of up to 14.8 miles per hour, the LimeBike website states, and the Lime-E’s motor alters the bike’s speed depending on how much force the rider applies to the pedals.
The Lime-E formally launched with 500 units in Seattle on Feb. 12, which LimeBike touted on their website as the “largest fleet of electric-assist bikes in the country,” and is now — along with the Lime-S — also available in some of LimeBike’s Bay Area markets.
LimeBike has made its other cities aware of their new products, LimeBike spokesperson Emma Green said, and is exploring where they will bring their electric offerings next.
“We’re in almost 50 markets now with our normal LimeBikes, so we’re looking at those cities as well as new cities to launch,” Green said.
When asked about the possibility of LimeBike scooters coming to Notre Dame, however, University spokesperson Dennis Brown said in an email “there is no plan for scooters on campus.”
“It’s very much up in the air,” Green said. “We’ve been in conversation with Notre Dame and South Bend about our new models, and that includes Lime-E and Lime-S, definitely making sure that they’re aware, but as of right now we just don’t have any updates of when they would be on campus.”
Although a specific date for the Lime-E and Lime-S to arrive in South Bend has not been set, South Bend operations manager Nathan Hasse said as with the regular pedal bikes, local LimeBike operations teams will monitor individual scooters and electric-assist bikes to ensure that they are maintained and parked appropriately.
“We patrol, and every bike is touched on a daily or bi-daily basis by our specialists,” Hasse said.
According to the LimeBike website, the Lime-E can travel 62 miles before its battery runs out and the Lime-S has a maximum range of 37 miles. LimeBike operations teams can monitor the charge level of each unit, and Hasse said they aim to get to each bike and recharge it before the battery can run out in the middle of a ride.
Hasse said South Bend residents should call LimeBike if they notice a pedal bike that is in need of maintenance.
“We always try to ask the public for help,” Hasse said. “If they do notice one that we haven’t noticed, just make sure to call and let us know and we’ll get to it right away.”