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First E-Bikes Arrive in Columbus

Brent Warren Brent Warren First E-Bikes Arrive in ColumbusPhoto by Brent Warren.
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Lime has placed the first rentable e-bikes onto the streets of Columbus. E-bikes, also called pedal assist bikes, are equipped with a battery that provides a pedal-activated power boost.

A Lime spokesperson said that the new bikes were deployed starting the second week of October around the Ohio State University campus. The company will monitor usage to determine if more will be set out in other neighborhoods.

Lime started offering the bikes, which it calls Lime-E, as an option in certain markets in January, but Columbus riders until now could only choose between the company’s traditional bikes and its electric scooters.

The new Lime e-bikes cost $1.00 to unlock and 15 cents a minute to ride (the same price as a scooter), while non-electric Lime bikes cost five cents a minute to ride. All three can be located and rented via mobile app and returned anywhere within the service area, which includes most central Columbus neighborhoods. Lime has also placed bikes in Worthington and Dublin.

Lime’s website boasts that the “battery helps you ride up to 14.8 mph without breaking a sweat, even uphill.”

The roll-out of e-bikes in Columbus follows an announcement from Lime earlier this month that it plans to increase its investment in renewable energy, pat of an effort to offset the carbon impact of its electric offerings. Eventually, Lime “plans to purchase clean energy directly from local utilities (and) explore on-site solar,” according to a press release touting the program.

E-bikes themselves are not completely new to Columbus – Orbit City Bikes has been selling the bikes since opening in 2014, and other local shops have started stocking them in recent years.

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