Lime, a mobility startup, is looking to expand its fleet of electric motorcycles and scooters. The business has just launched a trial program for their custom motorcycle, dubbed the Citra, in Long Beach, California. Lime has lofty goals of releasing several hundred Citra electric bikes in the city this summer, with the number of bikes potentially increasing to 500 if demand is high enough.
The Citra is designed for longer distances and combines "the seated comfort of an e-bike with the effortlessness of an e-scooter," at least aesthetically, as stated in an article by Engadget. Like other Lime vehicles, the Citra has a swappable battery that is charged by the company's local operation team. Furthermore, Lime has equipped the Citra with a bunch of creature comforts consisting of a horn, turn signals, and a phone holder.
In light of this summer's record-high gas prices, Lime is hoping that customers would seek out alternative modes of mobility, just like the Citra. Lime President Joe Kraus said in a statement that he is pleased with the potential Citra poses to the general public, especially when it comes to savings on gasoline, time spent in traffic, as well as the difficulties of finding parking within the city.
Due to opposition from local governments, safety issues, and a drop in ridership during the pandemic, mobility ventures have struggled to thrive. To stay viable, several companies have had to lay off employees or shut down operations. Lime lay off a small percentage of its workers and left Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio, and eight other cities outside the United States in 2020. Since then, the company has made significant progress, raising $523 million in investment last year and subsequently unveiling a Gen4 ebike.
All that being said, it’s clear that Lime is looking to tackle longer commutes for its customers with the Citra. Up until now, small stand-up scooters and e-bikes were the norm when it came to e-mobility sharing services. Two-wheelers like the Citra certainly open doors to longer distances, and hopefully, a wider customer base for Lime.