Uber’s new business, electric bikes

The new alternative mobility service created by the giant of ride-sharing, which became famous worldwide also for its legal problems and taxi drivers’ challenges, is going to reach Europe by the end of the year. In the world of electric bikes there are no taxi drivers, but a tough line-up of competitors

Published on 26 Jun 2018

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (who replaced Kalanick) has recently unveiled the launch of the new electric bicycle rental service in Europe, starting in the German capital, by the end of the year. 

Berlin will be the first city outside the USA to be reached by red bicycles branded “Jump” (a company acquired two months ago by Uber), which will be added to the already large fleet of vehicles in the city, where at least three competitors (the U.S. startup Lime and the Chinese Mobike and Ofo) are fighting over the market for electric bicycles with about 16,000 vehicles on the road. 

The market for transport other than cars is becoming increasingly competitive, with light and shade. Last February, Gobee (based in Hong Kong) reported its runaway from Italy and Europe as in the Old Continent “we had to face a series of obstacles, and unfortunately, among all these challenges, one in particular represented a problem that we could not overcome: in recent weeks the damage to our fleet has reached limits we can no longer limit with our strengths and resources”. 

Regardless of the issues that have already disheartened Gobee, Uber is instead “ready to strive to solve some of the biggest challenges for German cities: reduce pollution and traffic jams and increase access to green transport options,” said Khosrowshahi. As with the ride-sharing service, Uber’s bikes can also be rented through an app on the smartphone and, if the pricing policy turns out to be in line with the US one, the price requested should be around 2 euros per half-hour. 

However, the investment in e-bikes should only be the first step in a repositioning plan launched in April by the CEO of the company: Khosrowshahi had indeed suggested the transformation of Uber from a simple ride-sharing company (a business with a number of issues, from the “cab-war” to worldwide rape charges against its drivers) into an all-round mobility service provider. According to the company’s number one speech, the next step could also be to offer public transport solutions such as bicycles (which have now become a fact in the USA and will soon be in Berlin), buses and trains. 

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