Sep 18, 2023 - News

Bike share MoGo wants to go all in on e-bikes

Two black e-bikes with the red MoGo logo are shown next to each other in front of people and a couple cars.

Two of the new e-bikes that MoGo will introduce to the public this week. Photos: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Detroit's public bike share, MoGo, is adding 26 new electric bikes to its fleet.

Why it matters: Interest in the popular pedal-assisted bicycles has grown steadily since MoGo launched its electric-boost bike in 2019.

  • The nonprofit says its boost bikes are ridden three times more than its standard bikes.

Between the lines: The new e-bikes, which top out at around 20 mph, are equipped with speedometers and gears to make it easier to control how you ride.

  • They're lighter than the e-bikes added in 2019 and have batteries that are easier to swap out, as opposed to needing to charge the entire bike.
  • That means MoGo staff can keep these bikes out in the field longer and increase their availability.

State of play: There also are three new solar-powered e-bike charging stations — two at Michigan Central and one in Milwaukee Junction.

  • MoGo plans to add two more solar-powered stations next year.

Zoom out: Other public bike-share programs like Citi Bike and Bird are converting their fleets to electric — and cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, have gone all-electric.

  • MoGo executive director Adriel Thornton tells Axios that unlike many other cities, Detroit's e-bikes are available to ride at the same price as standard bikes.
A picture of a MoGo e-bike shown from the perspective of the person riding it. They're rolling down a street with other bikes in front, sun shining, blue sky.
It's me, riding down John R Street at 26 kpm (17 mph) in this photo with the MoGo team ahead of me.

What they're saying: "We hear a lot of people say they can't find a boost bike at their closest station — we're adding 26 more to help that ratio, which currently is about 570 red standard bikes and 80 e-bikes," spokesperson Jeremy Rosenberg says.

  • "We want to make sure we're continuing building out our fleet so e-bikes are available to all riders all the time."
  • MoGo says it plans to invest only in e-bikes in the future because of its overwhelming number of standard bikes.

💭 Sam's thought bubble: I hopped on one of the new e-bikes and traversed the North End with the MoGo team last week for a fun, smooth ride.

  • The e-bike hype is valid. This was my third time riding one and I'm already looking up used ones on Facebook marketplace.
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