After two years of in-house development, the ridesharing company Lyft has introduced its first electric bicycle. The new model is described as the company’s next-generation ebike, one that features a distinct and highly reflective design, as well as a stronger motor, single-gear transmission, and more. In addition to launching the ebike, Lyft has plans to pilot a charging station feature.
Electric bicycle rentals have become a common sight in big cities, offering tourists and residents alike the ability to easily rent a motorized bicycle for getting around. There are benefits to using these bikes: you don’t need to purchase and store your own model, you can grab one whenever it is convenient, and the company takes care of all the maintenance.
Lyft has been offering ebike rentals for a while, but this is the first time it has introduced an electric bicycle designed in-house. The company describes its bike as smart and adaptive; its battery and cables are fully integrated into the bike’s frame, it’s better equipped to handle situations like bridges and hills, and it packs a variety of sensors that monitor the bike’s systems.
Other features include the use of retroreflective paint, the same kind you find on street signs, to make sure cyclists are highly visible to drivers. The paint is joined by an illuminated light ring, hydraulic brakes, a wider seat with an improved adjustment clamp, a longer range of 60 miles, and an LCD screen with a speaker that offers users instructions on renting and using the bikes.
Lyft’s kicking off its public beta test after thousands of hours of testing, the company said as part of its announcement. The in-house Lyft ebike will first be available to the public in the Bay Area, followed by a phased roll out to other cities starting with Chicago later this year.