Tier Mobility is putting 1,500 e-bikes on Berlin streets
The sharing provider Tier Mobility is bringing 1,500 e-bikes onto the streets of Berlin, Germany. At the same time, Tier is starting electric kick-scooter sharing services to Brussels in Belgium.
In Berlin at the start of this week, Tier is initially providing 400 e-bikes, after which the electric bicycle fleet will be gradually expanded to a total of 1,500 vehicles. Tier is the first and so far only micromobility vehicle-sharing business in Berlin that is making three types of electric two-wheelers available: electric kick-scooters, electric moped scooters and electric bicycles.
Berlin already has a number of different electric kick-scooter sharing companies besides Tier, which also includes Bolt, Voi and Lime. Both Lime and Tier will now have electric bicycles on offer in the German capital. Both companies also have in common that they bought up electric bicycle companies: Lime bought up Jump Bike and Tier bought up Next Bike.
That being said, the electric bikes being offered in Berlin by Tier will be offered independently from the Next Bike vehicles. Next Bike e-bikes are station-based, while the new electric bikes being offered by Tier will be free-floating. Tier says that the idea is that eventually, customers will be able to hire the e-bikes from either the Tier or the Next Bike app.
At the same time, Tier is also starting to offer services in Brussels, Belgium. Jesper Vis, General Manager for Benelux explains that Tier scooters have been considerably improved since micromobility-sharing services hit the world’s cities just a few years ago: “On top of their general high-quality level, they have a double brake and extra visible front and rear light signals, and thanks to their large front wheel – the largest in the sector – they have increased driving stability.”
Tier has also been busy with municipal governments and authorities: “We have also contacted all of the Brussels municipalities – because we are one of the few players that will eventually be present in all 19 municipalities of the region – in order to meet their needs and challenges in terms of shared mobility as much as possible,” says Jesper Vis.
Among those following the carbon footprint of different vehicles, electric kick-scooters have come under increased scrutiny recently. If the scooters are not transported with emission-free vehicles, they end up with a similarly large carbon footprint as electric cars (both still clearly smaller than combustion engine cars). This is where Tier has put particular focus to bring down the overall footprint of their services.
Jesper Vis explained: “We look beyond purely reducing emissions when it comes to recharging, because emission reduction in production, operations and transport has also become a company standard. For example, we invested in e-cargo bicycles and electric delivery vans for our employees, who replace the empty batteries on-site. This way, we don’t have to drive big polluting vans through the city to pick up shared vehicles for reloading in a warehouse. The fact that our e-scooters currently have the longest lifespan on the market also helps to reduce our carbon footprint. We also maximise the green energy supply in our warehouses and have a strict low-carbon travel policy for all employees. And finally, we set up a CO2 compensation policy to neutralise the rest of our emissions.”
In April last year, we reported that micromobility provider Tier Mobility partnered with Ari Motors and Ono to electrify the fleet for operational use. Tier staff will employ electric transporters from Ari and cargo pedelecs from Ono to exchange the batteries and kick scooters in the fleet. Later last year, Tier and MAN Truck & Bus signed a framework agreement for the delivery of up to 130 MAN eTGE battery-electric vans. The first vehicles are already in use in Tier’s logistics fleet in the UK and Germany.
Tier has made a huge splash since the company started in 2018. It was only in 2019 that the electric kick-scooters were given legality on German streets. In 2020, Tier Mobility has acquired the approximately 5,000 electric scooters including the charging infrastructure of the discontinued sharing service Coup from Bosch. The electric scooters were initially to be launched in Berlin. As mentioned above, Tier also recently bought Leipzig-based rental bike provider Nextbike in November last year. With the merger, the company says it has around 250,000 vehicles in operation in about 400 cities worldwide.
tier.app (Brussels), tagesspiegel.de (in German about Berlin)