Sunday, 11th November , 2018, 09:16 pm,BDST
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A pair of electric bikes general Motors has unveiled



Lastnewsbd, 11th November, Dhaka: One of the bikes is designed to fold up for portability, while the other is much more akin to a typical ebike. The automaker didn’t specify how it planned to manufacture the bikes, saying only that they will have advanced safety features and “really cool connectivity features that will help you navigate through the city.” While the automaker didn’t say whether it planned to deploy the bikes in a shared network, all signs point in that direction. GM has aggressively pursued shared mobility services, launching its Maven car-sharing service back in early 2016 and iterating on it since then. In March it began piloting a peer-to-peer version of Maven that allows GM car owners to rent out their cars to Maven users, and last year it launched an initiative that allows users to rent cars for up to four weeks at a time. And in 2019, the company plans to launch a ride-hailing service using its autonomous vehicles.

General Motors (GM) unveiled a pair of electric bikes earlier this week at an event at its headquarters in Detriot, USA Today reports. Designed for urban commuters, GM plans to start selling the bikes in early 2019, though it hasn’t specified what it’ll charge. Moving into bike-sharing would thus be a logical extension of the company’s automotive mobility strategy, especially as the bike-sharing space has exploded over the last few years. At the end of last year, there were more than 100,000 bikes deployed in shared networks in the US, more than double the number available at the end of 2016. While this growth in bike-sharing has largely been fueled by traditional bikes, ebikes are in demand as well, and could be the next phase of the bike-sharing space.

The bike-sharing space offers two potential revenue opportunities for GM.

 

  • The automaker could build out its own bike-sharing fleet and try and compete directly with established players. Extending its approach in the automotive mobility space with Maven, GM could deploy a fleet of ebikes across the US and even allow consumers to access this service via Maven’s app. That could be challenging on two fronts, however. Established bike and scooter startups like Lime have raked in millions of dollars and are likely to benefit from early-mover advantages, both in terms of their reputations and their operations. On top of the steep competition, scaling up and managing a fleet in itself is capital and labor intensive, and GM would need to willing to shoulder the cost alone.
  • Selling ebikes to existing fleet operators might be a more practical and less capital-intensive approach. This approach would enable GM to generate revenue off of each individual bike sale while spreading the around the risks of scaling up and managing a fleet itself. But if GM takes this route, it’ll need to prove to established bike-sharing operators that its ebikes are superior to anything they could build in-house. That in itself may be difficult, as GM is an automaker with no history in the electric bike space.

 

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