Uber plans its e-bike rentals service across Europe

Uber plans to launch its new e-bike rentals service across Europe this year, as it steps up its investment in the increasingly competitive market for alternatives to cars for getting around cities…  Electric bikes and scooters that can be cheaply rented via smartphone are seen as a replacement for cars for short urban journeys. Europeans have traditionally been more enthusiastic cyclists than Americans and the continent was home to the first municipal bike-sharing services, such as Velib in Paris… Uber bought Jump two months ago and is investing heavily in e-bikes to expand the service beyond its initial markets in San Francisco and Washington DC… Uber’s expansion of Jump comes as two new rivals in the US, Lime and Los Angeles-based Bird, are finalising huge new rounds of funding to fuel their own rapid growth. Lime, which offers a mixture of electric and traditional vehicles, and scooter-focused Bird are both looking to raise as much as $200 million in deals that are expected to value each of them at around $1 billion… Big-name Silicon Valley investors are rushing into the market for ebike and escooter rentals, including Sequoia for Bird and GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, for Lime. Those investments follow the huge sums already ploughed into China’s bike-sharing firms, including by the country’s biggest internet companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Meituan Dianping.
 
Tim Bradshaw and Tobias Buck

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