A silicon valley idea gets produced in Motor City, Michigan, then returns to California for the San Francisco bike share program, supported by car manufacturer Ford: the GenZe Ford GoBike E-Bike.
The announcement was made this week at the Consumer Electronics Show or CES, over the state border in Nevada, in Las Vegas to be precise. GenZe, who say they exist because they believe in sustainable transport, put the new custom share product on display in the Smart Cities area. After Gen-X and Gen-Y, they chose the name Gen-Z as the next in the progression and for Generation Zero Emissions.
The pedal-assist Ford GoBike e-Bikes will help riders by boosting their natural pedal power, so they can climb hills more easily which will be a key feature with the famous hills of San Francisco. They will allow riders to ride further and for longer. The e-Bikes will integrate seamlessly with the existing Ford GoBike network and add a safe, reliable and affordable shared mobility option to the city.
“Our shared Ford GoBike e-Bike is the newest product in our pipeline of innovative, sustainable mobility solutions,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate. “We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bike-share experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”
“E-Bikes will give Bay Area residents and visitors one more option when traveling around San Francisco, which will help to make San Francisco more liveable and reduce congestion and household transportation costs. We look forward to the expansion of the Ford GoBike e-Bike pilot to the other Ford GoBike cities,” said Alix Bockleman, deputy executive director for policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional governmental agency that partners with Motivate to bring bike sharing to the Bay Area. MTC also manages the Bay Area’s Clipper® card, which can now be used to unlock Ford GoBike.
“In many ways, e-Bikes are ideal for bikeshare programs because they make local, short-distance cycling easier for people,” said Vish Palekar, CEO of GenZe. “Our e-Bikes can go anywhere a conventional bicycle can go, including shared lanes and cycling paths – allowing riders to commute greater distances with no traffic and zero emissions. We’re excited to be a part of this innovative bike-share initiative, and our partnership with Motivate.”
Who Can Use a Ford GoBike E-Bike?
Riders can locate e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike app, rent them from any station where they are available using their Clipper card or smartphone, and park them at any station in San Francisco. For a limited time, Ford GoBike members and riders purchasing a day pass or single-trip fare will be able to ride a Ford GoBike e-Bike at no extra cost. Bike Share for All members (low-income residents who become Ford GoBike annual members at the greatly discounted rate of $5 for their initial year) will always be able to use e-Bikes at no extra cost throughout the pilot, for rides of up to 60 minutes.
Is it that they don’t want to be thought of the bad guys and associated with emissions or that they see the writing on the wall with more and more moves towards getting rid of the combustion engine and want to ride the wave as it builds?