There is no doubt that London’s Barclays cycle hire scheme has been successful since it launched in July last year. With the opening up of the scheme to casual users in late 2010, the Easter period this year saw casual users hiring out more bikes compared to members of the scheme for the first time.
Not surprisingly, tourists make up a big share of the casual use market for the scheme and this is supported by TfL figures showing that Hyde Park docking stations were among the busiest for casual use in that Easter period as visitors flocked to London for their holidays.
An electric competitor
However, the Barclays scheme now has a competitor for the lucrative tourist market with car rental company Hertz launching a cycle hire scheme using electric bikes.
Based at Marble Arch, an electric bike can be hired for the whole day for just £20 (£5 for an hour). A full day on a Barclays cycle hire bike costs £50.
With every electric bike hire, full training on how to use one will be given. A lock, an optional helmet and a copy of the AA Leisure Guide to London with suggested bike rides around the city is also supplied when a hire is taken out.
Hertz is working with Ultra Motor, who are supplying and servicing the bikes. Two types of electric bike will be available; a folding bike called Fast4ward Edge, which has 25 miles worth of battery charge, while the other bike, the – A2B Hybrid 24 – has 40 miles worth of power. If the bike needs to be recharged it can simply be plugged into any mains socket.