Since 2018 when it bought CitiBike parent company Motivate, Lyft has operated bike-share networks throughout the US. And while its fleet has included both traditional bicycles and those with electric pedal-assist drivetrains, it's now introducing an ebike of its own design.
In development for the better part of three years, the EV features a single gear drivetrain and a more powerful 500-watt electric motor. That should make the bike easy to operate and maintain since there's no front or rear derailleur. Complementing those parts is a battery Lyft claims can go up to 60 miles on a single charge. Lyft built the power cell and the cables that connect all different components into the frame of the bike, which should help protect them from the elements and vandals.
And speaking of the frame, the company went with a new type of paint that is retroreflective. That will make the ebike reflect light at night like a street sign. The front of a bike also features a LED ring light that illuminates the path ahead in Lyft's signature pink tone, while the back wheel includes a hydraulic disc brake for more consistent stopping power. Sensors throughout the frame will make it easier for the company to ensure properly maintained models are out on the road.
And so that more people can try the bike, Lyft has redesigned the seat clamp to accommodate riders of all heights better. A built-in speaker system and LCD screen will guide you through unlocking and parking the bike, as well as other parts of its operation.
The introduction of this new model comes as more and more people in the US and other parts of the world look to different modes of transportation to get around while the pandemic is still a concern. According to Lyft, more than 1.8 million people tried out its bikes and scooters for the first time last year. Its data also shows that people like ebikes in particular, with those models getting two to three times more use than the company's classic pedal bikes.
If you live in the Bay Area, you'll have a chance to try out the new ebike starting next week when it's added to the Bay Wheels fleet. Later in the year, Lyft will begin integrating the bikes into its Divvy program in Chicago.