Published on April 3rd, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart
April 3rd, 2018 by Nicolas Zart
Haven’t heard of HOPR? Don’t worry, neither had we until we saw a new press release from the company and thought there was something newsworthy there. The company appears to have a nice solution to improve and supplement the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes).
HOPR Introduces A Portable E-Bike Sharing Solution
HOPR is introducing the first dockless electric bikesharing platform in the US that uses a new type of onboard power pack to increase flexibility and security by relying a bit more on personal responsibility and care. According to the company, riders receive a small hand-sized battery pack when signing up. Once the pack is inserted into the slot on the HOPR bike, it gives the rider 10 miles of electric pedal-assisted range (assuming the battery pack is fully charged and you aren’t biking in extremely cold weather). All of this can be monitored through a smart app you can get right here.
The HOPR e-bike system offers an interesting new way for riders to estimate and maximize their routes. This user-friendly system could incentivize more people to ride. The core of what it does is it removes the thorny and expensive problem of including chargers at electric bikesharing docking stations. If you can somehow eliminate the need to build, install, and maintain expensive charging infrastructures, the spread rate of your platform can be much higher, bringing in quicker financial sustainability.
To date, CycleHop has adopted this platform with great results.
This HOPR e-bike solution is actually the company’s second offering, after its HOPR all transit pass, a ride-matching and payment iOS app in Chicago. It all stems back to founder and CEO Josh Squire’s 1990s idea and 1999 US patent for bikesharing, the first bikesharing patent in the United States.
HOPR Removes Most Infrastructure, Budget, And Resources Constraints
The HOPR was designed for bikesharing as a durable e-bike that can reach 15 MPH. Users can go to local bikesharing program spots to pick up the power packs. But here’s an interesting bit about HOPR’s system: when not in use, the power packs can be used as portable batteries for other devices, such as your smartphone and laptop.
According to CycleHop CEO Josh Squire, “We’re dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what shared mobility can do for riders with HOPR’s hardware and software. … The HOPR e-bike and its portable personal power source represent our vision for sustainable mobility: adding value for riders on and off the bike while eliminating expensive charging infrastructure.
“E-bikes fill a crucial gap in our urban transportation infrastructure. They enable cheaper, quicker trips at distances too close for a car but too far for a standard bike. And they’re perfect for commuters with tight schedules who need to arrive at work or meetings on time without sweating through their clothes. E-bikes offer a no-carbon transit option for people who may otherwise avoid cycling because of the physical effort or distance of travel.”
HOPR e-bikes debuted at the Shared Mobility Summit in Chicago. He hopes they will show up this summer in the U.S. and Canada.
More Diversity With Electric Bikesharing Systems Removing Obstacles, Opening E-Mobility For All
It’s amazing to see the diversity and growth of electric bikesharing platforms all over the world, each tackling crucial adoption problems in their own ways, may they be via user-centric barriers or simply financial ones. One of the biggest hurdles cities face in adopting electric bikesharing, or for that matter, even regular non-electric bikesharing, is having to deal with the extra financial drain of building locking stations where riders can come and pick up the bikes.
Dockless bikesharing systems are popping up more than ever before, signaling a trend that focuses on flexibility above all else. HOPR’s smart portable battery is an interesting way to get around the infrastructure hurdle. The slight reliance on user responsibility (for the battery) could also instill a useful sense of ownership in the users. Sense of ownership in all manner of topics helps to make sure products are taken care of, which goes a long way toward making a system desirable and sustainable.