Uber has decided to send thousands of Jump e-bikes straight to the dump because it says it’s too complicated to give them away.
The rideshare giant said it would be too difficult to donate these bikes because of safety and liability concerns. A spokesman said “the best approach was to responsibly recycle them,” while video posted on Twitter from a North Carolina recycling center shows the candy red bikes being crushed as scrap metal.
— Cris Moffitt (@CrisMoffitt) May 27, 2020
Bike Share Museum describe the scrapping as “disgusting” and claim the bikes could have been used, saying: “The Li-Ion (battery) problem can be solved by removing the pop-out 36V battery pack (while not user swappable, the 5.5’s battery pops out from the side with a small key). This allows for responsible cell recovery and eliminates the additional risks of a motorised bicycle.”
Uber led a $170 million dollar round of investment in scooter sharing company Lime. As part of this investment, Lime took ownership of thousands of newer Jump bikes, but they aren’t the ones sending these bikes to the crusher.
“We have not recycled any of the Jump e-bikes in our fleet and are committed to scaling and operating them during this critical time,” a Lime spokesperson told CNBC. “We plan to work with Uber to find sustainable ways to donate and re-use any remaining e-bikes in their inventory.”