Tired of traffic jams and the endless search for a parking place? Want to contribute to a better environment? You might be interested in traveling with mobility startup Urbee, whose electric bikes could soon pop up everywhere along the canals of Amsterdam.
‘A healthy and happy solution for traffic jams, parking problems and city pollution’. That is what Urbee wishes to achieve with its new electric bike sharing platform. The company would like to see a clean city without cars, or at least with very few cars. Urbee is a concept of Ebikenetwork BV, which is a cooperation of Dutch Bicycle Rental, electric bike manufacturer Qwic, and software company Skopei. The startup has just announced it received 2,1 million euro in funding from Het Amsterdams Klimaat en Energiefonds, the governmental eco-fund that is also responsible for among others, the funding of Amsterdam Arena’s solar panels.
Although Urbee’s service will be available for anyone who wishes to use it, the main focus will be on companies. They can get a special subscription so that all their employees can ride the bikes for €1 per hour. Costs for other users vary between between €1 and €4 per hour, depending on the subscription.
How does it work?
The electric bike can be ordered through the Urbee App, and then be used for distances up to 20 km. According to Urbee, this distance is not smaller than the distance covered in 80% of all car rides. The electric bikes will be placed in existing bicycle parking facilities throughout the city, and can be picked up at the desired location. After making a reservation, users will receive a code that they can use to unlock the bike. Urbee guarantees that the battery of the bike will be sufficient at any time. If there is any problem, this can be reported in the App.
The Urbee bike offers solutions for many of Amsterdam’s big city problems. First of all, electric bikes are environmentally friendly and therefore contribute to a cleaner city. Moreover, using electric bikes saves money as well as time. We no longer have to pay for expensive parking lots anymore, and we will have to spend less time to arrive at our location. The bicycle is the fastest way of transportation in the city centre, according to Urbee’s website. And last but not least, the e-bike would be good for our health: it will make us fit and happy persons!
Cycling in the rain
Anyone who has been in the Netherlands for some time, knows how the weather can surprisingly change from day to day, even from hour to hour. But if we are to believe Urbee, Amsterdam is not as rainy as one might expect. In fact, statistics have shown that it is dry in Amsterdam for 94% of the time. Statistics or not, the experienced Dutch cycler may be skeptical about Urbee’s optimistic view on the Dutch weather. Perhaps Urbee can provide its customers with a raincoat or poncho, that can be picked up and returned together with the bike? Just in case.