Shortage of electric bicycles a spoke in wheel for hire firm

THE global shortage of electric bicycles has hampered a new cycle hire business in Guernsey.

Phil Le Poidevin from EVie Bike. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29599665)
Phil Le Poidevin from EVie Bike. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29599665)

EVie Guernsey began its operation with 25 machines on Good Friday in April.

Each machine has a global positioning system and users download an app which enables them to see where machines are.

Rental is paid before use and riders can leave the machines at any of 32 designated parking lots. They can be left elsewhere, but this will incur a £5 collection charge.

EVie Guernsey manager Phil Le Poidevin said the take-up to date had been very encouraging.

‘We aimed to start with 100 bikes but could only get 25. We hoped to have them all by the end of March, then it was May, and now it’s by the end of June,’ he said.

The bicycles are coming from China.

Take-up during the week has been steady but it increases at weekends, when people are cruising all over the island, according to Mr Le Poidevin. It is something that will hopefully be well received by visitors when the tourist industry begins to pick up again.

‘At the moment we just don’t have the bikes in as many places as we would like to,’ said Mr Le Poidevin.

The feedback from users has been very good and people are excited about the idea, he said.

Most people returned the bikes to the designated area, though some were collected from people’s driveways.

‘We’ve had no problems with vandalism and just a couple of punctures to deal with. We think that could be caused by the cutting of hedgerows which is going on at the moment.’

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