Bikesharing app Spin adds pedal-assist ebikes for urban commuters

App-based bikesharing service Spin (iOS/Android) has announced that it is adding electric bikes to its fleet in order to expand the options for commuters looking to quickly and efficiently navigate urban environments. The bikes will become available to all of Spin’s partner locations – which include cities like Seattle, Los Angles, and Washington, D.C. – in the weeks ahead, with a full roll-out expected to take place across 2018.

Spin’s ebike was designed in-house and is built by an undisclosed manufacturer. It is equipped with a 250-watt motor that is capable of providing pedal-assisted speeds of up to 15 mph. The bike reportedly has a range of about 50 miles on a single charge, and it is equipped with swappable batteries that allow Spin staffers to keep the units powered up at all times.

The adoption of ebikes in the U.S. has been slower than other parts of the world, but they seem to appeal to commuters in particular. In a blog post announcing the addition of the new bikes to its fleet, Spin says that electric models help to “break down barriers to biking including hills, disabilities, age, and distance.”

As with the other bikes in Spin’s fleet, the ebikes can be unlocked using the company’s iPhone or Android app. Unlike most other bikesharing programs, however, there is no need to pick up the bike at a permanent station nor return it to another station when you’re done riding. Users simply launch the app to locate a bike that is parked nearby, then request to use it. The cost is $1 for 30 minutes of riding time. And when they’ve finished running errands or commuting to the office, they simply get off the bike and park it, leaving it for the next Spin user who comes along.

The hope is that bikesharing programs like Spin can help alleviate traffic congestion in heavily populated areas. In theory, Spin users will forego retrieving their parked car when making short trips within a small area in favor of hopping on one of the company’s bikes instead. The service first launched in Seattle last year, and since that time it has logged more than 500,000 rides. The hope is that the addition of ebikes will make the program even more attractive by allowing riders to get to and from their destinations faster and more efficiently.

Find to more about Spin and its new ebike program on the company’s website.

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