Bike-sharing has long been a popular mode of transportation in Europe, and now, one company is making it easier still to move from Point A to Point B in an eco-friendly manner. The French company Smoove has launched a new project that will add 24,000 smart ebikes to the company’s global fleet.
Smoove bikes have already been deployed across the world, with cities including Vancouver, Canada; Marrakesh, Morocco; Helsinki, Finland, and Moscow boasting the company’s communal bike system. And now, the greater region of Paris will receive an additional 24,000 bikes as well as 1,400 new stations. All of this is expected to take place within the first quarter of 2018.
Smoove’s strategy is an interesting one, as it doesn’t necessarily involve deploying tens of thousands of brand-new bikes. Rather, as Clean Technica reports, the idea is to introduce a new smart ebike hybrid by way of the company’s Smoove Box. This technology claims to convert existing bikes into smart and electrified versions by installing a battery in the frame and tacking a motor onto the front wheel. And as ever, these bikes will be capable of being locked at the docking station where they recharge.
In order to take a ride on a Smoove bike, you’ll either need to have a card (like the ones currently used in many mass transportation networks), or an NFC-enabled smartphone, or an access code. Once you’ve paid for and unlocked your bike, the road is yours.
Smoove is also introducing a “parking overflow” feature, which will allow users to park their bikes even if docking stations are fully occupied. The ebikes will be secured using a Neiman-type steering lock, as well as an internal cable lock.
It is so far unclear exactly what the pricing structure of the new ebikes will be, but with plans for deployment quickly approaching, it seems that we’ll find out soon. Thus far, Smoove has made moves in 13 countries and 26 cities, has 8,500 self-service bike spots in play, and a total of 460 ebike stations. The hope is that there will soon be Smoove solutions the world over, leading to a far more eco-friendly future.