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Ride-hailing company introduces self-service electric bikes in Paris

US ride-hailing company Uber announced the launch of electric bikes in Paris in early 2019. The rugged red bikes from Jump, have three speeds and can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h. The self-service bikes will be available for free floating via Uber app, said a spokeswoman. A U-shaped padlock will secure them to street furniture.

The American company did not specify the exact launching date, nor how many units it intends to deploy in the streets of the capital.

"The idea is to quickly become a major player," said the spokeswoman, presenting the vehicle at the urban mobility exhibition Autonomy in Paris. According to her, if the rental price remains unknown, it will be "adapted to the market price". In the United States, riding a bike costs $2 for the first 30 minutes, then 7 cents per minute.

In February, Uber launched 250 red bikes in San Francisco, USA, in collaboration with start-up Jump, which it bought in the spring.

The American group, with Jump, has now been present in ten US cities, and will soon launch in Berlin.

"The goal is to get into other cities" after Paris, said Steve Salom, Uber's managing director for France, Switzerland and Austria.

It is crucial for him to "continue to democratize mobility" and "become a multimodal platform".

Salom added that the group has launched Jump-branded scooters in Santa Monica (USA), has invested in Lime self-service electric bikes and scooters, and is interested in electric scooters and long-term car rentals.