Electric bikes available to hire for first time in Birmingham
You can now hire an electric bike in the West Midlands for the very first time.
Ebikes are available for hire at any of the Birmingham’s 85 docking stations which are located in areas across the city which can be pinpointed in an app (see full details below).
There are 150 Electric bikes in total which are powered by a lithium-ion battery, and the battery-powered propulsion does not emit any harmful emissions.
Who can hire the E-bike’s?
Made in the Midlands by cycle manufacturer Pashley, ebikes are the latest addition to the West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) scheme which are now available across eight town and city centres.
Allowing riders to make longer journeys more easily, they also provide extra help to those who may have difficulty pedalling a standard bicycle.
The roll-out follows the successful launch of the West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme earlier this year which has so far introduced 1,350 distinctive green and grey branded pedal bikes onto the region’s streets and seen more than 169,000 rides taken.
The new eBikes have their own green and purple branding to make them easy to identify but will use the same docking stations.
The new West Midlands cycling and walking commissioner Adam Tranter, who will will lead the region’s cycling and walking policies and plans, launched the bikes on December 8.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Cllr Ian Brookfield, leader of City of Wolverhampton Council and Wolverhampton cycling ambassador Hugh Porter, were among the first to ride them.
How can I hire and collect one?
Ebikes use the same docking stations as the pedal bikes and are available across the region.
To hire, click on your nearest docking station in the Beryl Cycle Hire App, and it will tell you how many pedal and ebikes are currently available at that station. Look out for the lightning bolt symbol that represents ebikes.
Both electric bikes and standard bicycles can be collected and dropped-off at any docking station that may be found.
To find your nearest one, download the Beryl app and and look for the nearest lightning bolt symbol.
You can then click on the dock icon to open up a screen which shows you how many ebikes are available.
When you open the app you can locate an eBike by looking for the lightning bolt symbol. You then use the app contactless function, or tap in the bike ID, to unlock the bike as you would a pedal bike.
It costs £1.50 to unlock an ebike and 10p per minute after that – or 5p per minute with a WMCH bundle deal which means a half-hour ride could cost £3.
You can check for the availability and location of electric bikes by downloading the app here.
How long does the battery last?
When you look at the cycle hire app, you’ll see that the eBikes have a range indicated. This range is indicative only – the actual battery life of the bike will vary depending on how fast you are cycling, the weight of the rider and anything being carried, and the steepness of any hills you’re climbing.
While it’s not possible to give an exact range because of these different factors, the range shown will give you a good idea of how far the battery will last and will help you choose a bike that is suitable for the trip you have planned.
What’s been said about the scheme?
The investment in cycling facilities is a part of the region’s plan to encourage more alternatives to the car for shorter journeys around busy towns and cities with a view to reducing congestion, improving air quality and helping the region achieve its net zero-carbon target.
The Birmingham city council scheme, Ebike Hire, is part of the Birmingham Transport Plan to lower pollution and increase health by encouraging more people to cycle or walk short journeys rather than take a car.
Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment Councillor Zaffar said: “I am delighted that our partner, Transport for West Midlands has allocated 60 ebikes to hire within Birmingham. This will add to the 500 standard bicycles already available for hire from 85 docking stations in Birmingham.”
Mr Street said: “It has been a fantastic year for cycle hire, with more than 170,000 journeys taken on our fleet of bikes since March’s launch. Now, with the scheme having proved so popular, we are ready to take the next step with West Midlands Cycle Hire and roll out ebikes.
“The greater range on the ebikes makes them a clean and green alternative to the car for even more journeys around our region, whilst they will also help more people get involved with cycling and perhaps even try it for the first time.
“We know cycling and walking has huge benefits both for the environment and for people’s mental and physical health, as well as being great fan. And so that’s why we are looking to expand the scheme throughout 2022, making sure we reach more people and communities across the West Midlands.”
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