Uber has presented a new model of its JUMP electric scooters, with a larger frame and handbrakes. Uber plans to roll out these scooters in the US on June 24 and in Europe later this summer.
Uber rolled out electric scooters last October in Santa Monica, California. At launch, JUMP relied on Xiaomi Ninebot scooters, but this is no longer the case with version two. Instead, JUMP partnered with a different company to build these scooters.
“Uber is innovating new mobility hardware to make it safer and easier for people to choose bicycles and scooters over cars,” Rachel Holt, Uber’s head of New Mobility, said in a statement. “The more our technology can expand access to bicycles and scooters, the greener and less congested cities will be.”
While Uber doesn’t specifically break new mobility growth, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a Q1 2019 investor conference call that gross bookings for new mobility “grew solid quarter-over-quarter.”
Uber’s other bets, which include cargo and new mobility, posted gross bookings of $ 132 million for the first quarter of 2019. That represented a 230% growth over the same quarter last year, while carpooling it grew only 22%.
Holt also introduced a new interchangeable battery for JUMP springless electric bikes. JUMP added interchangeable batteries to its bikes late last year, but now riders will be able to replace them.
Designed by Uber’s director of engineering for energy storage systems Celina Mikolajczak and her team, the interchangeable batteries are much safer than those that have been in the scooters and bicycles we’ve seen, she told TechCrunch.
“It’s a growing industry,” Mikolajczak told TechCrunch. “And the standards, the standards have not met. Where in an automotive space, you would have a resistance to spread in your built-in and designed battery pack, those requirements haven’t really carried over to the bike and scooter area. But one of the The things that we’re doing, like the battery team is doing, is that we incorporate those requirements in that area, so when we come out with our new swappable battery, it will be at a new level of safety and a level of safety much higher than everything. what’s been in the scooter and bike fleet so far, which is exciting. And, you know, one of the things that we can bring is unique and different compared to what you know, what’s out there. “
Before, while JUMP could change batteries in the warehouse, Mikolajczak said they weren’t really interchangeable.
“The current batteries that are in scooters and bicycles are not really designed to be interchangeable,” he said. “With the JUMP bike, you can change the battery, but it’s something the operator has to do. There are some tricky connections there. What we’re doing for the new battery packs is making them user-swappable so anyone can swap. this battery pack quickly and easily. That’s something that just hasn’t been done. “
This could mean city kiosks swapping out the battery for a new one and then cycling. Or, park the bike near a battery kiosk and then the next person swaps in a new battery before they leave.
“So that becomes a lot more self-service,” he said. “If they are user-tradable, they are traded a lot faster than if you send people to do it. We’re exploring a few different options on that.”