E-bike rental

Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

In London, the e-bike rental market really seems to have taken off this year. In my part of town there are two companies that offer this service.

Lime is the major provider of e-bike rentals, they charge 21p per minute and a £1 unlocking fee to ride, while another is Human Forest which largely operates in inner London which offers 10 minutes of ride time for free then 19p per minute. If you don't park at a designated spot, they charge a £1.50 parking fee. Overall when I've used both companies bikes, I've been charged similar prices for cycling.

There are issues with poor parking on pavements and bikes being dumped in designated places on the floor without being put on their stands, but overall it's a positive way of getting more people into cycling for leisure or commuting.
TVF's London Lite.
User avatar
m-in-m
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat 05 Apr, 2008 22.26
Location: West Suffolk/Cambs

I haven't used any of these services as they don't exist in my town but I was surprised by the charge. 21p a minute feels likes the cost would quite rapidly build up if you are using them frequently or for long periods.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

TfL recently introduced e-bikes in addition to their standard pedal bikes. They cost £1.65 for 30 minutes and still have to be taken to a docking station.
TVF's London Lite.
User avatar
m-in-m
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat 05 Apr, 2008 22.26
Location: West Suffolk/Cambs

Martin Phillp wrote: Wed 19 Oct, 2022 10.54 TfL recently introduced e-bikes in addition to their standard pedal bikes. They cost £1.65 for 30 minutes and still have to be taken to a docking station.
Ah I didn't read this properly. I thought this was pedal bike. Clearly an e-bike is going to incur a premium. The TfL pricing model clearly encourages their use if your close to a docking station - which makes sense if it can reduce any motor traffic.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

m-in-m wrote: Wed 19 Oct, 2022 11.12
Martin Phillp wrote: Wed 19 Oct, 2022 10.54 TfL recently introduced e-bikes in addition to their standard pedal bikes. They cost £1.65 for 30 minutes and still have to be taken to a docking station.
Ah I didn't read this properly. I thought this was pedal bike. Clearly an e-bike is going to incur a premium. The TfL pricing model clearly encourages their use if your close to a docking station - which makes sense if it can reduce any motor traffic.
As part of the upgrade, TfL actually reduced the 30 minute window from £2 to £1.65, so it's clearly subsidised compared to the commercial e-bike hire companies.
TVF's London Lite.
gottago
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 19.50

Santander e-bikes are £3.30 per half hour. They should in theory be a bit cheaper to run than Lime as they have to be docked so batteries should be easier to change whereas Lime bikes are dumped all over the place which no doubt adds a lot of time to that process.

It's a shame about the parking issue because otherwise they're fantastic, a genuinely very useful way to make short journeys, or complete trips that finish some distance from a tube stop for example.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

gottago wrote: Wed 19 Oct, 2022 20.50 Santander e-bikes are £3.30 per half hour. They should in theory be a bit cheaper to run than Lime as they have to be docked so batteries should be easier to change whereas Lime bikes are dumped all over the place which no doubt adds a lot of time to that process.

It's a shame about the parking issue because otherwise they're fantastic, a genuinely very useful way to make short journeys, or complete trips that finish some distance from a tube stop for example.
I didn't realise it's £3.30 for the e-bikes as I was reading the TfL presser about the launch of the e-bikes.

£3.30 for 30 mins is still a tad cheaper than Lime as when I did a recent trip that took 30 mins, it came to just over £4.

It's a shame the docking stations for the Santander TfL e-bikes don't have chargers so they don't have to go elsewhere.

I recently used a Human Forest bike that developed technical issues and reported it to them on live chat, they came and collected it within a few hours.

From what I've seen, the e-bike companies hire freelance drivers with their own vans to deliver e-bikes to various areas where they think people will pick up the bikes and also collect bikes that need charging.
TVF's London Lite.
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7584
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

We've got loads of ebikes in dundee. They're using the rideon platform (but branded as Embark in a sponsorship deal) but you park them in the charger and then the vans are used to make sure there's stock where it needs to be.

Annoyingly the pricing is only in the app, and their signup form is a mess, so goodness knows how much it costs. I did try just then but got bored.

EDIT: found them

Unlock fee (each time you open a trip): £1.00
First 20 minutes: £0.06/minute
From minute 21 to 120: £0.10/minute
More than 120 minutes: £0.20/minute


There's also a plan where you can pay £60 a year and get cheaper pricing
Unlock fee (each time you open a trip): £0.60
First 20 minutes: £0
From minute 21 to 120: £0.05/minute
More than 120 minutes: £0.18/minute

Suppose if you used it twice a day for a month that'd cancel that yearly fee out.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Lime offer ride passes which are valid for three days.

£4.99 for 60 minutes
£9.99 for 120 minutes
£22.99 for 290 minutes.

In addition you can purchase Lime Prime for £8.99pm with a free month trial.

This offers:

Free unlocking.
Reserving a vehicle of your choice for up to 30 minutes free of charge.
If there's no unlocking fee, they'll offer you 25% off your ride fee instead.
TVF's London Lite.
thegeek
Posts: 853
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

I'm a little bit outside Lime's coverage area in London, though occasionally see their bikes on my street. It must take quite a bit of dedication to get them there - once you reach the edge of the zone, the e-assist cuts out, and those things are heavy. Unfortunately the app is terrible and most of the time I can't get it to show me the zones on the map, and last time I tried to use it, I was charged an extra fee for apparently parking outside the zone, despite my phone saying I was just inside it.

The HumanForest ones giving you ten free minutes a day is nice.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1460
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

thegeek wrote: Fri 21 Oct, 2022 11.13 I'm a little bit outside Lime's coverage area in London, though occasionally see their bikes on my street. It must take quite a bit of dedication to get them there - once you reach the edge of the zone, the e-assist cuts out, and those things are heavy. Unfortunately the app is terrible and most of the time I can't get it to show me the zones on the map, and last time I tried to use it, I was charged an extra fee for apparently parking outside the zone, despite my phone saying I was just inside it.

The HumanForest ones giving you ten free minutes a day is nice.
I've had the e-assist cut out inside the area on HumanForest, which meant I had to pause the bike, then move it on my feet, release the bike and then pedal manually again to get it to work.

However tonight I picked up a HumanForest bike in a no-parking area and the e-assist worked perfectly. Note that Human Forest won't deduct money from your card until you've made at least £5 of rides. £3.21 for a 18 minute ride which includes the parking fee isn't bad to be fair.
TVF's London Lite.
Post Reply