Bike-share start-up HumanForest is to launch a new fleet of electric bikes in London in early August after removing all its bikes from service in September 2020 following a customer accident.
Founded in November 2019, HumanForest aims to put sustainability at the heart of its business model with all its rentals running off electricity from certified renewable sources.
The firm’s innovative approach also means that users will get 10 minutes free use every day, before paying 15p a minute after that.
The free period is funded by advertising with users shown ads when they open the HumanForest app and also when they end their ride (with precise geo-targeting presumably a major element).
Silicon Canals reports that the new bikes will initially be available in Islington, the City of London, Camden and Kensington and Chelsea.
HumanForest first launched a trial of their service in June of last year, but in September announced that it had taken all bikes out of service following a customer "accident". The firm said that no-one was hurt was hurt in this incident.
The decision did however result in significant job cuts.
One former employee told TechCrunch that numerous staff were let go with minimal warning after the bike defect was discovered.
HumanForest countered that employees who had been with the firm for less than three months were on their probation period with one week’s notice and that their salaries would be paid until the end of the month.
In December, three months after raising £1.8m, HumanForest successfully crowdfunded another £1.25m and said it would relaunch this year with a new e-bike.
Announcing the news this week, founder and CEO of HumanForest, Agustín Guilisasti, said: “We are so excited to be launching our new fleet of e-bikes this summer. London is the perfect city for our bikes, with ambitious targets to reduce noise, traffic and pollution matched by our ethos of affordable and sustainable transport.
“Poor air quality kills millions of people each year, while road transport contributes to a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. Urban transport is increasingly damaging to our physical and mental wellbeing, and cycling can be an effective way to improve both.”