BY SASHA LEKACH
2 DAYS AGO
The official bike-share of San Francisco, Ford GoBike, has gone electric.
Ford GoBikes are already all over San Francisco, but starting on Tuesday, 250 electric-assist bikes will join the fleet for the same price — at least for now.
I got to try one out ahead of time, taking a test ride through San Francisco’s crowded South of Market and hilly Potrero Hill neighborhoods. My prediction: The e-bike, a Ford GoBike Plus, will be in high demand. The motor provides a jolt of pep, and I was able to climb a fairly steep two blocks of Mississippi Street — something I never would have done on a regular bicycle.
Motivate, the bike-share operator behind Citi Bike in New York City, rushed to bring the new e-bikes into the Bay Area after a spate of other e-bikes and scooters flooded the market. Like its pedal-powered cousin, the new bikes require a dock. These aren’t a jump-on-and-drop-off anywhere option, but you don’t have to worry about blocking the sidewalk or walkway, since the bike has a designated space.
Ford’s e-bikes follow the trend from Chinese bike companies that have crept into North American cities. In China, the electric bikes have been popular for the past few years, but the easy-to-ride bicycles come with major issues, like sidewalk litter, rampant theft, and mass bicycle graves filled with broken and abandoned bikes.