Fast Company: Bird doubles down on its e-bike expansion with a new bike you can buy
Fast Company – June 23, 2021
By Talib Visram
You probably know Bird for its shared e-scooters, which became ubiquitous in many cities during the e-scooter boom. In June 2021, the company entered into the shared electric bike market. Now it has a new, slimmed-down and sleeker version that you can just for yourself.
The Bird Bike retails for $2,299. It’s available now in the U.S. (the UK and EU are on the way). The bikes are fitted with rear hub motors from Chinese e-mobility components company, Bafang; thumb throttles for making incline riding easier; an LCD panel displaying metrics like speed and distance; and a battery that allows for 50 miles of electric range.
The target buyer, says Rebecca Hahn, Bird’s chief corporate social responsibility officer, is both car drivers looking to switch to more carbon-friendly commuting options, as well as people who don’t live in one of the 300 cities where Bird operates a shared service. Bird also has two types of e-scooters for purchase: the Bird One, and the later-released Bird Air, which has a cheaper price point and a slightly slower top speed (not to mention the kids’ scooter for sale, Birdie). Consumer products represent around 10% of Bird’s business, Hahn says—and the pandemic has accelerated that demand in many cities, due to expanded bike lanes, streets closed to cars, and a preference for socially distanced transport methods. “In some ways, [the pandemic] drove adoption and awareness of micro electric vehicles, both for sharing and for ownership,” she says.
Bird’s desire to diversify, via both consumer products and expansion into e-bikes, is likely a reflection of both market trends and its own financial trajectory. The e-bike market grew 157% year on year, and is predicted to reach $68 million by 2026, higher than the sharing market projection of $13.8 billion. And, the latest second quarter results filing from Bird, which announced its intention to go public in May, shows a rebound in revenue from recent quarters, but still sustained net losses.
Overall, the e-bike, like all the company’s products, says Hahn, “supports our vision of cities and towns with fewer congestion-inducing, gas-powered car trips,” Hahn says. “The more options we offer consumers, the more flexibility people have to rely on more sustainable modes of transportation.”