Business

'On yer eBike' as Ride Electric brings new sustainable technology to Northern Ireland market

Cyclists Stephanie Penny and Mark Thompson take in the Causeway Coastal Route overlooking Whiterocks Beach with their newly hired eBikes
Gary McDonald Business Editor

TYNESIDE-based Ride Electric has launched its innovative eBike technology into Northern Ireland for the first time in a bid to boost staycations, reduce congestion and contribute towards meeting carbon zero targets.

It follows a change to Northern Ireland legislation which means electric bikes have now been reclassified as bicycles rather than mopeds, allowing them to travel up to 15mph and with no need for a licence, MOT or vehicle registration.

Ricky Martin, owner of Alive Surf School in the Causeway Coast & Glens, has been appointed as Ride Electric's territory manager for the whole of Ireland.

The eBikes (www.rideelectric.co.uk) - whose introduction has been welcome by the NI Chamber of Commerce - are currently being hired from Ricky's base in Portrush.

At the moment his customers are mainly locals and tourists seeking to explore the North Antrim coastline using a mode of transport which is sustainable, allows people to go further and reduces their need for public transport.

But the service will allow seasonal businesses like hotels and activity providers across the north with the chance to lease eBikes longer-term for their customers.

The leasing service consists of leasing an urban/touring electric bike, fully equipped equipped with rack, charger and spares as well as theft insurance.

Prices vary for long term leasing, with a charge of £1,170 for six months (£195 a month), £2,004 for 12 months (£167/month), £2,556 for 18 months (£142/month) or £2,904 for 24 months (£121/month).

Ricky said: “After visiting the Ride Electric team in Newcastle upon Tyne, I was blown away with the technology and how they partner with their customers. I wanted to be a part of it and bring this amazing energy back home.

“The feedback has been amazing so far and I have a series of leasing agreements in the pipeline."

Praising the work of infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon in the reclassification of the bikes, he added: "E-bikes are a revolution in transport for commuters, holidaymakers and anyone who needs to get from A to B."

NI Chamber chief executive Ann McGregor said: “We're pleased Ride Electric has recognised the enormous potential in the Northern Ireland market.

“Moving towards more sustainable modes of transport is vitally important if we are to meet Carbon Zero 2050 targets. E-bikes are potentially an effective way to contribute to this by reducing congestion on our roads and encouraging people to consider more active travel options.”

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