The Cyclocity bike hire scheme has been a great success, so when electric bikes were introduced they had to retain the same core features of reliability, easy maintenance and easy use. They also needed to fit in to existing hire stations, including those stations powered by their own solar panels. When the bikes arrived, they, rather than the stations, were modified to fit, removing any need to carry out construction in public places.
 
These bikes require batteries. We decided to use individual portable batteries that users could charge at work or home rather than a built-in battery. Built-in batteries require the bikes to remain stationary while charging, not particularly practical when each bike is rented on average 8-10 times a day. Portable batteries can be constantly charged by users, so bikes can be used as required. Leveraging best-in-class external expertise, we worked with Forsee Power Solutions, a French SME specialising in industrial batteries, to develop the right power source for our electric bike vision. The 10k battery life is around four times the distance of the average hire journey.
 
Portable batteries are also connected objects. They link with the riders’ smartphones to provide information on routes travelled and remaining battery life, plus display a light to notify riders of new messages. The integration of battery to smartphone was developed by JCDecaux. 

The bikes were unveiled in front of the Paris Hotel de Ville during the COP21 climate change conference, the perfect showcase for this smart transport solution.