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I must admit that this caught me by surprise. Yesterday I photographed the Lucky Duck and later I noticed in one of my photographs an advertisement indicating the introduction of e-bikes on March 30th.

- Half the fleet to upgrade to hybrid electric
- New electric bikes to roll out from March 30th
- Subscribers to electric option to get personal portable batteries

Dublin City Council, JCDecaux and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have today announced that the NOW TV dublinbikes scheme will be enhanced with the upgrade of 50% of the fleet of 1,600 to hybrid electric bikes, commencing on March 30th when the first batch of e-dublinbikes will be launched.

The hybrid electric option will be ideal for subscribers who want a quick and convenient mode of transport around the city thanks to the electrical assistance the e-dublinbikes can provide. The bikes can also be operated as a regular pedal bike when the personal battery is not in use. The electric option will be available to annual subscribers for an additional €60 per annum. The e-dublinbikes option will open on the NOW TV dublinbikes App and website from March 8th to allow delivery of personal batteries before March 30th. New subscribers signing up to the scheme will have the choice of either an annual subscription or an annual subscription plus e-dublinbikes, depending on their needs. Existing subscribers can choose to add the e-dublinbikes option to their current subscription.

Once subscribers sign up for the electric option a personal portable battery will be delivered to them and this battery can then be used in the hybrid bikes to provide electrical assistance for up to 8km per charge. The battery is small enough to fit in to a jacket pocket or a small bag and is equipped with a micro USB-C port and can be used to charge a mobile phone or tablet when not in use on an electric bike. The hybrid dublinbikes are identifiable via a blue basket at the front of the bike which contains the slot for the portable battery. The e-dublinbikes can also be cycled by annual subscribers as a regular pedal bike without a battery.

Launched in 2009, dublinbikes quickly became part of the fabric of Dublin city with Dubliners and visitors to the city using them to make their way around the capital. With over 30 million journeys taken since the launch of the scheme, it is one of the most successful in the world and has proven itself to be an efficient, healthy and fun way to get around. In more recent times NOW TV dublinbikes have continued to operate throughout the COVID 19 pandemic to ensure that those making essential journeys have access to the scheme and in order to take pressure off other public transport services while restrictions are in place.

The introduction of e-dublinbikes to the scheme follows the launch of a new App based system earlier this year which allows members to take bikes out at stations using their mobile phones and also have easier access to their account information and bike availability details.

Funding for the introduction of e-dublinbikes is being provided by the NTA to Dublin City Council.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: “The expansion of dublinbikes to include a hybrid electric option will offer increased options for existing dublinbikes subscribers as well as an incentive to new users to join the scheme. The additional assistance from an e-bike can make it easier to cover longer distances, and it will offer a new option to people who may find it challenging to cycle on a traditional bike. The dublinbikes scheme complements existing transport solutions in the capital, bringing another sustainable and safe travel choice to the community. I would like to congratulate everyone involved with this project, including Dublin City Council, JCDecaux Ireland, NOW TV and the National Transport Authority who provided funding for the scheme.”

Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer said “NTA has long been a supporter of this scheme and the introduction of the hybrid e-dublinbikes is a very positive step. The success of dublinbikes has resulted in a greater number of people using sustainable transport modes, for shorter journeys in particular. This new development will make the scheme more attractive and will lead to cycling becoming even more popular in the city.”

Owen Keegan, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin City Council said “The roll-out of 800 hybrid e-dublinbikes demonstrates Dublin City Council’s commitment to developing cycling in the city. Thanks to this major new innovation, the NOW TV dublinbikes scheme will be even more user friendly and it will unlock greater opportunities for members in terms of reduced journey times and longer travel distances. I would like to thank the National Transport Authority for supporting this initiative and everyone involved with the roll out.”

Joanne Grant, Managing Director JCDecaux Ireland said “we are very proud to be launching an electric option for NOW TV dublinbikes subscribers. dublinbikes has been providing a successful environmentally friendly transport option in the city for over a decade now. We see this as a very important progression for the scheme and for the city as e-dublinbikes will enhance sustainable transport solutions in Dublin and accelerate shared urban mobility options whilst complementing other modes of transport.”

The battery:
The personal battery is completely portable and allows subscribers to benefit from electrical assistance for up to 8km per charge when using an e-dublinbike. It comes with a charger, measures less than 170mm and weighs 530 grams so it can easily fit in a jacket pocket or small bag. It is equipped with a micro USB-C port and can be used as an external battery to charge mobile phones or tablets when not being used on a bike.

Where can I rent an e-dublinbike from?
e-dublinbikes are available to rent from all NOW TV dublinbikes stations. You can check availability in the official NOW TV dublinbikes App or at a station terminal. They are identifiable on-screen by the lightning symbol at the front of the bike.

Using e-dublinbikes:
e-dublinbikes can be used with or without the portable battery. They are identifiable by the blue basket at the front of the bike which contains the slot for the portable battery. The battery is slipped into the slot to enable electrical assistance.

Once a charged battery is slotted into the basket holder of an e-dublinbike it powers a motor which provides assistance when you pedal, helping to propel the bike forward. This is most noticeable when cycling up hills or when cycling against strong headwinds. The electric motor assistance is limited to a max speed of 25 km/h.

If a subscriber doesn’t have a charged battery handy or if exercise is preferred, the subscriber can use the e-dublinbikes as a regular pedal bike. Annual subscribers who do not have an e-dublinbikes subscription can also use available e-dublinbikes without battery assistance.

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