Lime has added electric mopeds to its fleet of green shared vehicles — and you’ll need a driver’s license to jump on one.
The electric vehicle sharing company announced the addition of e-mopeds to rider options on Wednesday, a third alongside its bright green e-bikes and e-scooters.
Lime aims to launch mopeds in a “handful of cities” early spring, aiming for pilot programs in Washington DC and Paris first. The moped was developed by Chinese urban mobility manufacturer Niu, fits up to two riders at a time, and can travel up to 87 miles (145 kilometres) on a single charge.
Riders must have a valid driver’s license, and be 21 or older to ride in the U.S., and 18 or older in Paris. You’ll also need to take a photo of yourself for the Lime app that matches your license.
If you think you’re going to cruise around town without a helmet, think again — these vehicles can hit a top speed of 28 miles per hour (45 kilometres per hour) after all. Each moped will come with two of varying sizes (or one for the driver, one for a passenger), both equipped with an infrared sensors, to flag if a rider has removed the helmet from the case for use. Helmets have been supplied by Moon for U.S. riders, and Nikko for Europe. Before riding, you must take a photo of yourself wearing the helmet, which must be worn at all times during the ride.
Lime said it will take “strict enforcement measures for repeat safety violators, including removal from the platform to avoid putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
But anyone can’t just jump on a moped and drive into the sunset — you have to pass a test. Lime said it consulted with the U.S. non-profit Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to design a rider safety course, and a test that riders must complete before they ride the moped — exactly what this test looks like remains to be seen. Lime is also planning to provide free 45-minute, in-person, small class lessons for riders down the track to get the fundamentals like turning and parking down. Lime is also working with MSF to create additional exercises for riders to refine their riding skills.
“MSF wants all Lime riders to be safe and have fun. We encourage them to take full advantage of Lime’s training offerings, and to always wear helmets and other riding gear,” said Robert Gladden, VP of training operations for MSF, in a press statement. “We applaud Lime’s decision to include rider education and safety training in their new electric moped program.”