Hot off the wheels of its recently announced personal scooter, Bird is launching an e-bike in a few test markets.
The bike looks more like a moped than existing shared electric bikes on the market. It also has an elongated seat that can fit up to two adults. Riders can use pedals and pedal assist to control speed or they can just rest their feet on a set of pegs and let the vehicle do the work. The company declined to say how fast the Bird Cruiser can go and instead said that it will comply with local laws and specifications for this type of vehicle.
Shared bikes, e-bikes, and scooters are part of a competitive market, but Bird has quickly risen to prominence among investors. The company last raised funds at a $2 billion valuation.
At the same time, there have been questions about the shared scooter business with regard to sustainability. Despite best efforts to make shared scooters resilient, the vehicles have short lifespans of less than a year. (Some reports have found scooters to last less than a month.) In turn, it was hard to make a profit on vehicles before they cycled out of rotation. E-bikes, at the very least, may prove to have more longevity. But the business model is not proven, and there is a lot of competition from Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lyft-owned Motivate, Lime, and others.