As revealed at the end of last week, hundreds of London’s cycle hire bikes are going to be power-assisted e-bikes.
According to The Evening Standard, Haringey is one of the areas to see the hire e-bike trial, an area only served by buses for public transport. E-bike routes have also been earmarked for Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Alexandra Palace, with a presence at Finsbury Park Tube.
With Boris Bikes now a high profile fixture in London, the forthcoming arrival of hire e-bikes – albeit on a smaller scale (so far) – must surely be greeted by e-bike brands and electric bike shop specialists with hand-rubbing glee.
Momentum Electric has issued a press statement about the hire e-bike trial: "The more people will be aware of electric bicycles, the better," adding "the most convincing argument for electric bikes is still made by a test-ride".
It’s hard to argue that with these hire e-bikes, with the backing of Transport for London, Boris himself and potentially a sponsor as big as Barclays, there is the potential for it to be a huge marketing exercise for electric bikes.
It’ll be interesting to see how the scheme fares on reliability, pricing and whether it expands to more areas of London and beyond, but it seems obvious that this could be real boon to the market, which has long promised to unlock a wider demographic for the cycle trade, but has – so far in the UK – not quite lived up to its billing.