LimeBike unveils pedal assist e-bikes

On the heels of Motivate’s announcement that it’s launching an e-bike pilot program in San Francisco, startup LimeBike is essentially doing the same, but sooner. At CES, LimeBike unveiled its new electric pedal assist bikes, which use electric power to give your pedaling a boost and make riding up hills a breeze.

While Motivate is rolling out its e-bikes for the Ford GoBikes system in April, LimeBike is making them available this month in Seattle, Miami and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. LimeBike says it’s eyeing San Francisco and New York City as its next launch cities.

Called Lime-E, the service costs $1 to unlock and another $1 for every 10 minutes of riding. These bikes go up to 15 mph, while Ford GoBikes by Motivate will go up to 18 mph and Social Bicycles’ Jump bikes go 20 mph. Another key difference between LimeBike and Ford GoBike electric bicycles is LimeBike’s are dockless while Ford’s require fixed stations.

“As the fastest growing smart mobility solution company, LimeBike is evolving to respond to the limitations of traditional, docked bikeshare services based on cost, accessibility and overall aging infrastructure,” LimeBike co-founder and CEO Toby Sun said in a press release. “Our electric-assist bike, Lime-E, will provide cities a fast, efficient, equitable source of first-and-last mile transportation at absolutely no cost to taxpayers and minimal cost to riders.”

Last month, LimeBike expanded to Europe, with the launch of 500 bikes each in Frankfurt, German, Zurich and Switzerland. In total, LimeBike has deployed 30,000 bikes. To date, people have taken 1 million rides across 33 markets.

Backed by firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue and GGV, LimeBike has raised over $60 million in funding and is valued at $225 million after its most recent $50 million round.

If you want to hear more about bike-sharing and the competition coming from players in China, be sure to check out the latest episode of CTRL+T.