Electric bike sharing in Spain

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Spain is at the forefront of electric bike sharing, with three networks in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian.

Madrid started its biciMAD electric bike-sharing program a few weeks ago. There are already over 120 stations with 1,560 electric-assist bicycles. These bikes have a 360 watts electric motor, allowing for a 25 km/h top speed (16 mph) and are equipped with lithium-polymer batteries for an 18-hour autonomy. They also come with an anti-theft GPS system.

The yearly subscription costs €25 ($33.50), and usage fee is about €0.50 ($.67) per half hours. Without subscription, the rates go from €2 ($2.67) to €4 ($5.35) per hour. The network has already over 8,000 subscribers and the goal is to sign-up 90,000 users within 4 years.

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Bonopark, the firm that runs the network, also manages the dBizi electric bike-sharing program in the city of San Sebastian. dBizi is smaller and features 25 stations with 250 electric bikes.

In Barcelona, the Motit electric scooter-sharing program started last year with 50 Core scooters. The subscription is €29 ($39), with a variety of fee plans, by trip (€0.55 per km), by time (€5 per hour), and special tariffs for frequent users.

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Today Motit has several hundred Core electric scooters, all locally manufactured by Going Green which retails them all over Spain for €4,000 before taxes ($5,350). The Core has a 4.1 kW electric motor and a 1.5kWh lithium polymer battery. Top speed is 65 km/h (40 mph), with a range of 40 to 60 km (25 to 37 miles). The Core is a 125cc-equivalent scooter, and a car driver’s license or a motorcycle license is required to ride it in Spain.

Like in the US, European cities are experimenting with various bike-sharing programs, and it looks like electric-powered bike-sharing will become very popular in the near future.

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