2nd Generation Vélib’ Métropole Bicycles and E-Bikes Presented in Paris
PARIS, France – Yesterday the second generation of Paris’ self-service bicycle rental system, the Vélib’ Métropole was presented in the French capital. It was developed by Smoovengo, a consortium of Indigo, Moventia, Mobivia and Smoove, which will put the Velib’ in service from 1st January 2018.
After 10 years using the JCDecaux’s system, Paris and 68 cities around Paris will adopt two new Vélib’ bikes, a mechanical and an e-bike version. The new operator is Smoovengo, a French company working currently for 26 cities in France and abroad with a fleet of more than 21.000 bikes. The regular bikes are made by the MFC (Manufacture Française du Cycle) in Machecoul while the e-bikes come from Arcade Cycles in La Roche-sur-Yon, both located in France.
The new Vélib’ Métropole was presented by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Patrick Ollier, President of Grand Paris Métropole, and Catherine Baratti-Elbaz, President of the Syndicat Autolib’ Vélib’ Métropole.
Six months for system change
Former Vélib’ operator JCDecaux will shut down 600 stations in the last quarter of 2017. Another 600 JCDecaux stations will be transformed during the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, Smoove is working on its new stations which will be operational in January 2018. An additional 200 new stations will also be created in Paris’ suburbs at a cost of € 10,000 each. On 31st March next year, the Velib’ Métropole system will contain 1,400 stations and approximately 20,000 bikes.
Smoove also announced that 30% of the bikes will have an electric Bafang front wheel motor. Limited to 25 km/h, the Vélib’ e-bike will have a range of approximatively 50 km and weight 25 kilos. As Jorge Azevedo, CEO of Smoovengo, said “It’s possible to electrify the mechanical model easily by changing the front wheel, adding a battery and put on a new color. The electric model is blue and the regular bike is green. This refitting operation can be done in 30 minutes.”
The new Velib’ has some others features of which connectivity is the most important one. Thanks to the electronic V-Box, with RFID and NFC reader inside, the Vélib’ 2018 is fully connected and will be recharged by a dynamo. This V-Box allows the rider to activate and lock the bike on the padlock.
The V-Box can be connected via Bluetooth with a smartphone providing information like the rental time, riding distance, navigation indications and so on. The rental prices will be published in a few weeks.
The former JCDecaux Vélib’s will be disassembled and recycled. A part of the stations and padlocks will also be recycled or reconditioned to be used in others cities.