What if I told you there was an electric vehicle company in DC? No, not GM’s motor winding for the Spark EV in White Marsh- the actual District. Not Local Motors‘ site in National Harbor, either. DC is becoming a hotbed for 21st century biking, including a surprisingly powerful electric model, and its assembly.
Washington had already been the first American city to establish modern (RFID-controlled) bikesharing, which we’ve covered. Onstreet, point-to-point rental has since spread through New York City, to smaller markets, and now even Detroit, the “Motor City.” The earlier problems with public bikes have been solved; a rental is so cheap compared to other modes of transportation that cities almost can’t afford not to deploy bikes and stations. In the same manner, the early e-bikes have given way to newer, better, cheaper designs. This includes trials in Paris and in Birmingham, Alabama to evaluate electric bikesharing.
Back here, I visited Riide‘s assembly facility in northeast. In time for Halloween, Riide was moving to a new space, and throwing a costume party in the vacated industrial building. The company’s Kickstarter launch was highly successful, deliveries began in late 2014, and I’ve even seen Riides on the street. For 2016, Riide is offering a monthly $79 plan (“RiidePass”) with maintenance and insurance. At plan’s end, the bike is owned outright, or you can convert payments to the latest model.