Volunteers sought for new electric bike trial

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EVie, the company which in January launched a pay-to-rent electric car scheme, is now planning to situate the cycles at a number of ‘virtual’ docking stations around St Helier later this month.

Before then, director Gavin Breeze said they were appealing to Islanders to help them carry out testing.

‘They arrived on a ferry from St Malo at 10.30pm on Monday and we were unloading them into their temporary home until 4am. It was a very late night,’ he said.

‘We will soon be inviting people over social media to register their interest in becoming an EVie bike member and inviting a certain number of those people to join us in trialling them in the next few days.

‘That will be until our official launch on 20 March at which point we will start to release bikes into places with the ultimate aim of releasing 140 as soon as is practically possible. We will be more comfortable being able to answer the customer service questions of the users of 20 bikes. If we did 140 all in one go, then we would be overwhelmed.’

Mr Breeze said that the bikes worked through virtual docking stations which would be based at up to 68 bike racks around town.

He added that the bikes could be tracked through GPS technology and anyone not leaving them in designated and appropriate areas would incur a charge.

‘If the user does insist on parking it in an inappropriate place then that fee will cover the cost of us potentially having to rehome it,’ he said.

‘All you have to do is download the app, register your details and card number, look on the app for a bike near you, use the app to scan a QR code on the bike’s battery, rent the bike, do your thing and then go onto the app and hit “end rent” when you are done.

‘One added feature is that there is a pause function, where – say you are cycling from St Helier to St Aubin for lunch – you can put the bike on pause in St Aubin and it will be available for you when you are done eating.’

The level of each bike’s removable and rechargeable batteries is monitored remotely and replaced by an attendant if necessary.

Anyone wishing to rent one of the bikes will pay £1 for every ten minutes, £12 for six hours or £19 for 12 hours.

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