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Bird launches shared electric bikes, opens app to local shared operators – TechCrunch




Bird has announced the launch of shared electric bikes for its fleet of electric scooters, which it says can be found in more than 250 cities around the world. The shared micromobility provider is also launching a so-called Smart Bikeshare platform that allows local providers of electric bicycles and mopeds and transit apps to integrate with the Birds app.

Shared electric scooters catapulted shared micromobility to the center of the environment transportation in cities by offering more than 150 million zero-emission journeys worldwide, said Travis VanderZanden, founder and CEO of Bird, in a statement. We are launching our shared Bird Bike and Smart Bikeshare platform to meet the growing demand of cities and cyclists for more sustainable transportation options while expanding our addressable market by 5% billion trips per year.

This announcement comes just a month after Bird’s downfall its new Bird Three scooter with better autonomy. The micromobility giant’s shared electric bike will roll out later this year, with Cleveland, Ohio being one of the first markets, according to a company spokesperson. In a statement, Bird said the bike will be available in select cities in North America, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and France this year. Bird did not say how many electric bikes it would launch or give a more specific launch date.

Bird also did not respond to whether the e-bike is designed or manufactured by the company, and if not, which manufacturer the company works with.

The Bird Bike is built on a 75-pound frame with a stepped design that can take riders over hills with up to 20% incline, according to the company. It’ll have a front basket, big pneumatic tires, and all the geofencing and on-board diagnostics you’d expect from a Bird vehicle.

The Bird Bike is not the first Birds bike. In the summer of 2019, the company unveiled its Bird Cruiser, an electric cross between a bicycle and a moped that can accommodate up to two people. But they decided to put the pilot on hold last year when the pandemic started, according to a company spokesperson.

Birds bike-sharing platform has already been launched in Italy with a local electric moped company Zigzag, displaying the Italian company’s vehicles next to its own in the Bird app. Bird says he wants to collaborate with other micromobility companies around the world and is in talks with groups like the North American Bikeshare Association to do so in the United States.

Bird did not respond to questions about whether he would receive a reduction in profits from local operators if booked through the Bird app.

In a company statement, the Birds bike-sharing platform makes the company the first scooter operator to integrate with local providers of shared bikes and electric mopeds. Bird does not currently plan to integrate third-party electric scooter vendors into its app, according to the company.

While Bird does not collaborate with local e-scooter suppliers, sharing its platform with e-bike and electric moped suppliers allows it to have a more multimodal presence without doing the heavy lifting of launching multimodal fleets. . At the very least, these collaborations will also give Bird a better idea of ​​where and how cyclists use different vehicles, which could help the company decide what new modes of mobility to invest in, while also informing its own expansion plans, especially in Europe.

Bird has not confirmed if this is part of its bike-sharing platform strategy.

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