The fleet of 50 OVO e-bikes and six electric stations launched last week (August 26th), when the public were able to see the OVO Bikes in action for the first time in the city. A further 75 e-bikes and nine stations will be rolled out at a later date, taking the fleet up to 125 e-bikes.
The launch means that riders will be able to use an OVO e-bike to cycle between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, as the schemes are linked for the first time – which has long been an ambition for nextbike, Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
A fleet of 50 e-bikes was launched in Penarth last year, and have proved incredibly popular with the public.
E-bikes are a combination of a conventional bike with a motor that take some of the effort out of pedalling for the rider. With top speeds of 25km per hour, the e-bikes can cover greater distances faster and with less effort.
The OVO e-bikes, which will join the existing Cardiff fleet of 1,000 standard OVO bikes, were made possible thanks to funding from Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government. Green power supplier OVO Energywas unveiled as the new title sponsor of the city’s bike scheme earlier this month (August) in addition to the Glasgow scheme.
Cardiffians have made more than 1.1 millionbike rentals since nextbike launched in the city in 2018, cycling an incredible 3.7 million km around the city – the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back almost 5 times.
E-bike rental will cost £1 per 30 minutes for customers with monthly or annual membership or £2 per 30 minutes on a pay as you ride basis. E-bikes must be returned to e-bike stations or additional fines will be applied.
Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “I am delighted to see OVO Energy coming on board as a key partner, and nextbike adding e-bikes to the fleet. This is further endorsement of Cardiff as a cycle-city, and the tremendous appetite there is amongst residents, commuters and visitors to travel the capital by bike.
“As a Council, we are getting on with the work to put the right infrastructure in place to enable those travelling by bike to do so safely, comfortably and with confidence, and to encourage even more people to get into the saddle. Our 10 year transport strategy includes the Council’s plans to build five main cycleways across the city, connected to a city centre loop of high quality cycleways, and that work is well and truly under way.
“By improving cycling, as well as walking and public transport options for everyone, we can encourage more and more people to leave their cars at home, reducing congestion, cleaning the air we breathe and helping us all become a little healthier.
“The OVO Energy partnership, nextbike’s continued investment in its fleet, and Cardiff Council’s continuing work to build the cycle infrastructure needed, all show that Cardiff is really going places when it comes to creating the sustainable-transport city both we and future generations so desperately need.”
Nextbike MD, Krysia Solheim, said she was excited to be bringing OVO e-bikes to the city.
“The launch of Cardiff’s OVO e-bikes is not only fantastic news for the city, but also for everyone who uses the Vale of Glamorgan e-bike scheme too. Being able to link the two schemes means that people will be able to travel sustainably between the town and the city with ease.
“E-bikes are not only great for reducing journey times and taking on steep hills, they’re also a great way of increasing inclusivity and getting people of all abilities and fitness levels into cycling.
“Cardiff remains one of our most popular schemes and we’re delighted to be increasing the fleet in this way.
“We’d like to thank our partners for their support in making this ambition a reality, including Cardiff Council, Welsh Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council and our scheme sponsors OVO Energy.”