Amsterdam again a green pioneer

A company called Urbee is launching an e-bike sharing scheme in Amsterdam. They are promoting the Urbee concept as a healthy way of addressing traffic jams, parking problems, and urban pollution. 

The startup recently announced (Dutch link) considerable funding from the Amsterdam Climate & Energy Fund, which invests in financially profitable and sustainable projects in Amsterdam.

According to Urbee's managing director Fleur Schraven, “Urbee gives users hassle-free, flexible, and clean urban mobility, and is a serious alternative to the car. It saves time and money on travel and parking, and makes users happier and healthier. Urbee contributes to a cleaner and more liveable Amsterdam.”

An ecosystem of 1500 sharable e-bikes

The project will begin to take form in the autumn of 2016, with an initial rollout of 300 bikes, with 750 more to be added in the spring of 2017. Eventually the network will consist of 1500 Urbee electric bikes.  Although Urbee’s service will be available for everyone, the main focus will be on businesses. The rental costs will vary between €1 and €4 per hour, depending on the subscription.

The electric bikes, which will be placed in existing bicycle parking lots throughout the city, will use a new kind of smart lock, so that no keys are required. Users will search for a nearby Urbee bike using the app, reserve it, and then unlock the fully charged e-bike using the reservation code that is sent to their phone. The Urbee e-bikes can cover distances from 65 to 130 kilometres, at speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour.

At first the scheme will be limited to Amsterdam, but there are already plans to expand it to other cities and countries.