Destroying e-bikes for profit

28 May 2020 | 243 words | cycling capitalism

early last year i wrote about the joy of using JUMP e-bikes during a short stay in San Francisco1. Turns out that less than one and half years after being introduced, these bikes, while still being perfectly good and much needed, are getting retired and destroyed by the truckload.

This seems to be the outcome of an unfortunate but probably inevitable collisions of the logics of startup consolidation and the dysfunctional way how the US legal system structures liability. As many others have pointed out before me, destroying perfectly good bikes instead of giving them away to people for whom having access to a bike could make a world of difference, is the logical conclsuions of the sociopathic business model of so called “sharing platforms”.

  1. I have sometimes wondered if that post was not too much in terms of expressing admiration for an UBER owned service, but i really did enjoy riding on those bikes. So i am somewhat relieved to find out that i am not the only one who admired these particular bikes. As Kurt from the bikesharemusuem observes: “Put simply, the JUMP e-bike is a wonderfully clean and well thought-out design, straight out of The Jetsons; just substitute the wheels for rockets. This made the experience of riding all the more exciting, in the same way some become giddy at the thought of driving a Lamborghini at 10 mph: It’s not that you’re doing anything extreme, it just feels special.” ↩︎