This week, Mobike
announced the first wave of releases of its new electric bikes. Just like its main sharebike system, users will be able to use the app to locate a Mobike E-Bike (which currently cost about 3RMB for a 30-minute ride). Most rides on their bikes are currently less than three kilometres, according to the company, but this new fleet will offer an option for longer trips that's both more sustainable and quicker than taking a car.
Before you rush outside in search of these coveted bikes, you should know they've not yet hit Shanghai's streets. At the moment, a fleet of about 1,000 e-bikes are in operation in Sichuan and Guizhou provinces with plans to expand the service for here and Beijing, as well as international markets, in the near future.
The pedelec bikes top out at about 20 kilometres per hour, and according to the Mobike team, the bike’s battery can stay charged for about 70 kilometres. Saying that, don't get any dreams of cruising off into the sunset just yet. Users can ride the bikes in somewhat limited ranges – generally within a city's main ring road, but we're told this will vary slightly from place to place – to make it easier for the Mobike team to manually switch out low batteries for fully charged ones.
In other good Mobike news: After trialling a deposit-free ride system in second- and third-tier cities this spring, the Meituan-owned company also announced this week that all users in China can now use the app without first paying a 299RMB deposit fee.
If you've already paid a deposit, visit the My Wallet page in the app to reclaim your refund and Mobike will deliver the fee to the original payment account within a week.