The City Council of Barcelona will commission, experimentally, 300 electric bikes by the end of the year and to be able to use it, users must have a Bicing license, which will add an annual fee that will not exceed 15€. This stipulated price gives access to the new machines and in addition users will have to pay for each trip. The second deputy mayor, Sonia Recasens, explained that the project is carried out thinking already in 2017, which is the year in which the competition for the Bicing management is renewed. The cost of incorporating these new three hundred bikes will be of 5.1 million euros, and the operation will be done by Clear Channel, the company that is already working on the current service. In the visual field, electric bikes have a similar color to the current ones and they also incorporate advertising of a mobile phone company, in addtition it will be necessary to add some sponsoring of power distribution companies as said by the deputy mayor.
One of the requirements imposed on Clear Channel is that the company has to look for a machine made entirely in Catalonia. The City is keeping the public model reserved and it will be presentated in the next few weeks, but the requirements of the new machine are already known: must have a weight not exceeding 23 kilos and will have to achieve the 25 km of autonomy. The lifetime of the lithium battery is 20,000 km and it will be incorporated into the chassis, which cant be separated, therefore preventing theft. The total recharge cycle is completed in two hours.
Another difference from the current Bicing is that most stations will not be in the street: one part will be installed in the parkings of the Barcelona Municipal Services network and partly in private parking cars. For more safety, the only ones that will be on the outside are the stations of Plaça Sant Miquel, Passeig de Gràcia, Plaça Tetuan, Sagrada Familia and Plaça Espanya.
The implementation will be done in two stages: half will be launched in December and the other half in January. There will be a total of 600 anchors throughout the city and two vans that will redistribute vehicles. Overall, Bicing works by gravity, there are always more bikes in the lower area of the city that the high-area, but the electric drive system can change this behavior. In this pilot phase, the number of subscribers will be limited to 8,000 users, an extension would be considered only if the demand is much higher.[:]