After Uber sold its Jump business to its rival Lime, the ride hailing company is currently destroying thousands of electric bikes and scooters.
The distinctly red coloured bikes of Uber were seen being crushed recycling centre of the company in the United States in videos that went viral on social media. The videos have reportedly angered cycling advocates.
The decision of destroying the older-model vehicles in their thousands was taken because of maintenance, liability and safety concerns, Uber said.
In many foreign markets however, such as in the Uited Kingdom, Uber continues to operate Jump and has hence not destroyed any bikes.
According TO AN Uber spokesperson in the UK< the company has not yet completed the sale of Jump to Lime in Europe and therefore Jump still continues to caryr on its operations in the continent “as normal” in cities like London.
Ubr had announced in 2018 that it would be focusing more on expansion of its business of electric bike and scooter renting and less than on its car ride sharing business.
However, the announcement of the sale of its scooter and bike business to Lime was suddenly made by Uber on 7 May this year.
According to the deal, an investment of $170m in Lime was made by Uber while Lime acquired “tens of thousands” of Uber’s Jump bikes as well as the intellectual properties associated with it.
The design of Uber’s bikes are good and those will be deployed in larger numbers in the future, said Lime’s chief executive Wayne Ting.
However, under the deal “tens of thousands” of older-model bikes of Uber were not inherited by Lime as a part of the deal.
Videos shared on Twitter show the bikes arriving at a recycling facility in North Carolina to be destroyed.
This decision of Uber have however been criticized by charities and organisations who have suggested that those bikes that were destroyed could have been donated to community groups, or even sold to individuals to increase the usage of electric bikes in the US.
“Why not at least peel the decals [branding] off and sell the bikes to individuals?” Jon Orcutt of Bike New York, a non-profit group, told news site Motherboard.
“We explored donating the remaining, older-model bikes,” Uber said in a statement.
“But given many significant issues – including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment – we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)