Don’t just talk about sustainability. Do it!
Ever since 2016, when we launched the first dockless bike-share system in Europe with our orange pedal bikes, we thought there wasn’t another practical vehicle that would effectively ease the weight of traffic in dense urban areas. Now, with a lot of experience from the bike-sharing and micro mobility industries in our pockets, we are introducing a new vehicle as we enter the electric mobility market.
Can e-bikes be done more eco-friendly?
Our first Donkey Republic e-bikes have hit the streets of Berlin this week. The first 100 will be part of a pilot project, and we are beyond excited to introduce this new breed of transportation as part of our growing fleet. It took us some time to get here, mainly because we were not settling until we found a solution that guarantees a more eco-friendly lifecycle for our e-bikes. For that, we looked beyond the current market practice.
First of all, our e-bikes are comfortable, quality bikes with pedal assist. They are made to last, are produced sustainably and they come with changeable batteries. These batteries will then be collected with GreenPack cargo bikes and will be re-charged with green energy in charging cabinets. How amazing?! So, to answer the headline, yes, e-bikes can be produced and operated in an eco-friendly way.
We have one of the biggest fleets of pedal bikes in Europe, and while we believe in innovation and new types of vehicles, we had a hard time committing to the vehicle that would fit into our vision and one that could fit the various lifestyles of the modern citizen. Our e-bikes come with pedal-assist, therefore there is no toggle, no magic. They work just like classic two-wheelers, and when you need it, it gives you that extra “schwung” as the Germans would say. Adding e-bikes is the next step in our quest for helping cities reduce the weight of car traffic and let the individual make an impact. We used to nod heavily when Horace Dediu said “bikes will eat cars”. Now, with a smile, we have to add: “e-bikes and bikes will eat cars”.
Our biggest reason for introducing e-bikes in the Donkey fleet is to get people out of their cars. Even though e-scooters and pedal bikes are great modes for covering short distances, car drivers often stick to their mode of transport, purely because it is convenient. The e-bike offers a fast and efficient way of commuting, just like pedal bikes, however with the electric breed, one can cover much longer distances, without sacrificing convenience.
Why did we put our votes down to start in Berlin?
Berlin is rather unique. Back in March when the Donkey Squad visited Berlin, we have made thorough research on how locals and visitors get around. Needless to say, the city and its people are quick adopters of innovation, and they are very open towards shared and sustainable mobility solutions. Furthermore, Berlin is one of our largest cities considering its population and area too, therefore e-bikes make a lot of sense there.
Try our pilot, pedal assist Donkey Bikes in Berlin for free. Use the code EBIKE2 for a 2 hour free ride between June 5-23 and let us know what you think.
The Donkey Squad