Sharing the car to save costs so far has worked well. But public bicycle rental systems are still on the “pending” list of large cities. None has given with the key.
This, however, can change in the short-medium term. A Chinese startup, Mobile, has begun to expand. In principle to Singapore, but its system is so innovative that if everything goes well it should not surprise us that its style conquers the world.
Why does this system of rental bicycles work so well? Very simple: to start, you can leave them where you have to go. There is no need to look for a specific place to place it; they do not need a physical lock or an exact place to park them. Of course, we could create small areas to put them together so they do not bother, but it is not strictly necessary.
In addition, the bicycles are built in aluminum, which prevents them from rusting. They are invulnerable to the weather. The wheels do not carry air, so there is no need to fear punctures. And they do not have a chain, they work with a crankshaft, so you’ll never have to stain your hands with grease. It can not jump.
And the doubt of security remains because if you can leave them in any corner it seems easy to steal. But no. Each bicycle has an electronic closing system and this is activated and deactivated with a QR code. Until it is used, the pedals are not unlocked. And if you do not close it you still pay the rent, yourself.
The battery that feeds this padlock and the internal GPS that the bicycles carry in order to locate them is charged with the pedaling itself, you never have to connect them.
Powerful Allies of Bicycle Rental
However, Mobike has a very tough competitor to Ofo, leader of the Chinese bike rental market and has the backing of two giants: mobile phone maker Xiaomi and Didi Chuxing, who beat Uber in China. Between them, they have invested more than 130 million dollars in this startup, which has a fleet of 70,000 bicycles in more than 20 cities.
Mobike is still much more modest, but it has already been established in four cities in just six months of life: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. And, according to Florian Bonhert, its CEO, they have already convinced Tencent, Sequoia Capital, and Singapore’s Vertex to invest a sum of 100 million.
The goal is to beat Ofo thanks to the advanced technology of their bicycles, which they also manufacture themselves and with a guarantee that they do not need maintenance in 4 years. The thing that is yet to be proven because of the fact that they have only been on the street for 6 months. The price is estimated to be quite competitive too: 1 Chinese yuan for every half hour. Less than 14 cents.
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