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Vancouver the latest B.C. city to offer e-bike sharing

BC Hydro's spokespeople Dave and Jaclyn with Mobi e-bikes on the seawall in Vancouver's Stanley Park
BC Hydro's spokespeople Dave and Jaclyn pose with two of Vancouver Bike Share's new electric bikes near Vancouver’s popular seawall.

BC Hydro partners on program offering e-bikes powered by water

Electric bike (e-bike) sharing has arrived in B.C.'s largest city with a program in partnership with BC Hydro.

Vancouver Bike Share (VBS), which operates a popular pedal bike share service for the City of Vancouver (Mobi by Shaw Go), is adding 500 e-bikes at more than 30 stations around Vancouver. Like the Mobi by Shaw Go pedal bike share, access will be available by subscription via options ranging from pay-per-ride, to 24-hour access to monthly, and yearly passes.

As a leader in clean energy generation in North America, we're working to increase electrification in B.C. to help residents and businesses use clean electricity to help reduce carbon emissions. Our electricity, powered by water, is the "fuel provider" for the e-bikes, which will displace trips normally being made in a vehicle powered by fossil fuels.

With the addition of the e-bikes to the existing pedal bike fleet, the Mobi by Shaw Go system now includes more than 2,500 bikes and 250 stations. E-bikes offer healthy, low-cost, energy efficient, and emission-free transportation. The e-bikes have three e-assist levels, three gears, and pedal assistance up to 25 km/hour so that people of all fitness levels can conquer hills and ride further and faster.

BC Hydro's spokespeople Dave and Jaclyn with Mobi e-bikes at 15th & Cambie in Vancouver
Dave and Jaclyn getting ready to rent e-bikes at the new e-bike station in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

How to find an e-bike, and how to unlock one for use

Using a powered by water e-bike is easy. First you'll need to follow three easy steps to find an e-bike near you:

  1. Download the Mobi by Shaw Go app (on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.)
  2. Click the E-Bike filter to view only available e-bikes
  3. Click on a station to view bike details, including the charge percentage of an e-bike.

Once you arrive at an e-bike station, unlocking an e-bike is easy once you've downloaded the Mobi by Shaw Go app.

  1. Press Enter to wake the bike
  2. Scan your User Card or enter your 7-digit User Code and press Enter
  3. Enter your 4-digit PIN code and press Enter
  4. Upon the unlock BEEP, pull the bike out of the dock.

You'll need to be at least 19 years of age, and you'll need to wear a helmet and obey local traffic laws. Once you've completed your trip, re-insert your bike at a Mobi by Shaw Go station, and wait until you hear a beep and see the STOP message that signals the end of your trip.

Pay-per-ride costs start with a $1.50 charge to unlock an e-bike and continue at a $0.35-per-minute fee. There are also 24-hour passes, a 30-day pass, and a 365-day pass, each with free unlocking privileges, and lower per-minute fees.

Learn more about how the Vancouver e-bike share works and to see pricing options.

Vancouver far from the only B.C. city with e-bike sharing

The Vancouver e-bike share service is part of a recent wave of e-bike sharing and e-bike rebates in the province that includes:

BC Hydro's spokespeople Dave and Jaclyn riding Mobi e-bikes near Vancouver's Science World
Jaclyn and Dave taking the new e-bikes for a sunny afternoon ride past Vancouver's Science World.

E-bike etiquette: Three things to keep you (and others) safe

1. Know local rules and guidelines

Talk to someone at your local bike shop or check online for specifics for your town or city. In B.C., the basic rules are that you don't need a license to ride an e-bike that combines bicycle pedal power with electric motor assistance with a power output of no more than 500 watts and a maximum speed of no more than 32 km/h on level ground. You need to be at least 16 years of age, wear a helmet, and abide by the same road rules as cars and pedal bikes.

2. Be seen

It's safer for all involved when cyclists of all kinds, including e-bike riders, wear brighter clothing, and employ front and back lights as soon as it starts to get dark. The new Mobi e-bikes come with a built in front and rear light that turn on automatically.

3. Be heard

Bikes of all kinds are usually quiet. So while it may seem off-putting to ding-ding everyone you pass, it's a good idea to use a bell or your voice to let people know you're coming up from behind, especially in tight spots. The Mobi e-bikes come equipped with a bell.