The Grenoble-based e-bike tech company eBikeLabs have launched an upgraded version of their eBikeSafe anti-theft system, which is designed specifically to deter thieves from targeting share scheme e-bikes.
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eBikeLabs say "theft is in e-bike sharing is a growing problem that is a serious barrier to spread out its adoption in cities", and believe a reliable anti-theft system is the answer. The eBikeSafe system is integrated and blocks the wheel from using the motor, with the control unit uniquely paired with the battery. This means they're unable to work separately, which means thieves will be unable to use the bike properly or sell on the battery. The motor also uses the thief's force and battery energy to counter movement. The only way to bypass the system is to destroy the drive unit, which would render the bike useless.
ebikeSafe still works even when the e-bike has completely ran out of charge, and it can be integrated into any e-bike with a wheel-based motor system. If a thief tries to steal a bike, it emits a loud noise and flashes its lights.
eBikeLabs claim a more robust protection system was needed for bikeshare schemes, as electric frame locks and cable locks are still breakable. They say that the prevalence of share schemes being scrapped because of theft and vandalism, such as the short-lived eBikesDerby that stopped operations in July last year, will be far less likely using their system. They also state that the most important factors in stopping theft and vandalism problems with bikeshare schemes are to understand the local problem and the behaviour of thieves operating there before choosing a theft deterrent system.
eBikeLabs are currently waiting to acquire a global patent for eBikeSafe before it can be rolled out to share schemes worldwide.