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Mobike is rolling out a new fleet of electric bikes

...plus, everyone is now eligible for a refund on that 299RMB deposit

Photograph: courtesy Mobike
This week, share bike giant Mobike announced the first wave of releases of their new electric bikes. Just like their main sharebike system, users will be able to use the app to locate a Mobike E-Bike (which currently cost about 3RMB for a 30-minute ride). Most rides on their bikes are currently less than three kilometres, according to the company, but this new fleet will offer an option for longer trips that are both more sustainable and quicker than taking a car.

Before you rush outside in search of these coveted bikes, you should know they've not yet hit Beijing's streets. At the moment, a fleet of about 1,000 e-bikes is in operation in Sichuan and Guizhou provinces with plans to expand the service for here and Shanghai, as well as international markets, in the near future.

The pedelec bikes top out at about 20 kilometres per hour and according to the Mobike team, the bike’s battery can stay charged for about 70 kilometres. Saying that, don't get any dreams of cruising off into the sunset just yet. Users can ride the bikes in somewhat limited ranges – generally within a city's main ring road, but we're told this will vary slightly from place to place – to make it easier for the Mobike team to manually switch out low batteries for fully charged ones.

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In other good Mobike news: After trialling a deposit-free ride system in second- and third-tier cities this spring, the Meituan-owned company also announced this week that all users in China can now use their app without first paying a 299RMB deposit fee. In similar news, major competitor Ofo's latest update now also allows riders to transfer their 199RMB deposit and credit it towards their Ofo wallet (though that's assuming they'll be taking 199RMB worth of trips in the future).

Visit the My Wallet page of the app to reclaim your refund and Mobike will deliver the fee to the original payment account within a week. For Ofo users, simply updating the app will immediately present you with the option to waive your deposit and put it towards your Ofo wallet.

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