Bolt to roll its e-bikes east with Wexford and Bray launches

12 Jan 2023

Image: Bolt

The Estonian start-up said Bray will be the first Irish location where its Bolt app provides both taxis and e-bike services.

Mobility company Bolt has launched two electric bike schemes in Wexford town and Bray in spring this year, as it expands its Irish services.

The year-long pilot will bring 200 new e-bikes to Ireland, which will be split evenly between the two locations. The scheme follows Bolt’s existing operations in Sligo and Kilkenny, bring its total Irish fleet to 400 e-bikes.

The Estonian company said Bray will be the first Irish location where its Bolt app provides both taxis and e-bike services. It added that this multiple service offering has proved highly valuable across other European cities where it operates.

“We’re very excited to take Bolt to the east coast, and we’re working closely with Wicklow and Wexford County Councils to roll out the service as soon as possible,” said John Buckley, Bolt operations manager for rentals in Ireland.

Bolt claims that more than 105,000km have been travelled on its e-bikes in Ireland since it launched two schemes last summer. Last June, the company shared plans to invest up to €5m in its e-bike rental roll-outs across Ireland, along with plans to significantly expand its head office in Dublin.

Bray municipal district cathaoirleach, Cllr Erika Doyle, said Bray is “the perfect location for a shared electric bike scheme” thanks to its seafront and a number of planned cycle schemes.

“Aside from being a sustainable alternative to car trips, electric bikes can offer a more accessible option for many,” Doyle said. “They can also assist when tackling some of Bray’s hilly stretches. The simpler and more convenient we can make accessing electric bikes, the more likely people are to use them.”

Bolt first launched in Ireland in December 2020, rolling out its taxi-hailing product to compete with existing apps Free Now and Uber. Bolt expanded this service to Cork in March.

In 2021, the company promised to roll out 10,000 e-scooters in Ireland after draft legislation paved the way for the regulation of e-scooters and e-bikes on Irish roads. When the regulation was published in October 2021, Bolt was one of several micromobility start-ups that said it was eyeing the Irish e-scooter market.

However, a policy plan published last year indicates that e-scooter operators will have to wait until later this year to get the green light to launch in Ireland.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic