Following some small-scale tests in a number of cities since Lime revealed its latest e-bike in March 2021, the company has started making the Gen4 available to users in the US. The first batch of the new model has arrived in Washington DC.
The biggest update this time around is a swappable battery that's interchangeable with Gen4 scooters, which should both save Lime money and bolster sustainability, in part by reducing the number of trips that Lime's charging vans need to make. The latest model also features a more powerful motor than previous generations, automatic two-speed transmission, a phone holder and a revamped handlebar display that matches the one on Lime's scooters. The company says the modular design should boost the usability of Gen4 e-bikes to five years.
Lime said last year it would invest $50 million into the Gen4 e-bike. It aimed to start transitioning to the latest model last summer. However, other than a few small-scale pilots in the fall, it had to put those plans on hold due to supply chain issues.
The company plans to upgrade e-bikes in the cities it currently serves to the Gen4 and expand to more cities this year. For now, 250 Gen4 e-bikes are available in Washington DC. Lime told TechCrunch it plans to replace its entire fleet of 2,500 e-bikes in the city with the Gen4 by April. The new e-bike should hit more cities around the globe this spring, including Atlanta and Charleston.