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In order to setup a vehicle fleet (or to expand an existing one) that includes e-bikes it is important to be aware of which bike sharing scheme is under implementation. Typically, there are two types of schemes, i.e., Station-based (SBBSS) or Free Floating (FFBSS) bike sharing. Both options have pros and cons. In particular:


  • On-site battery charging that optimizes management costs
  • Easier vehicle collection for fleet redistribution
  • Greater protection against vandalism and theft
  • Less urban clutter
  • Easier vehicles search for users
  • Individual stations can be equipped with heating systems for low temperatures


  • Easy to put on the road, no installation necessary
  • Possibility to perform a more capillary e-bike distribution helping users to find the vehicles
  • Freedom for users to park anywhere
  • No downtime for recharging if supported by battery replacement activities (Battery Swap)
  • More frequent visual inspection and therefore greater safety

The analysis carried out in the city of Nanjing and reported in the study “How could the station-based bike sharing system and the free-floating bike sharing system be coordinated?” published in the Journal of Transport Geography shows that the Station-Based (SBBSS) bike sharing systems tend to be preferred in areas where there is a high concentration of mobility demand, that is, in the proximity of underground stations and close to shopping areas, whereas locations with a greater density of high streets and residential areas are associated with a more frequent use of free-floating bike-sharing systems (FFBSS).

SBBSS tend to be preferred in areas where there is a high concentration of mobility demand, instead FFBSS tend to be preferred in locations with a higher density of high streets and residential areas.

There is also the possibility to develop an electric bike sharing system with hybrid installation methods, i.e., both station-based and free-floating with virtual zones, which is an interesting solution for both large and small urban centres, in terms of flexibility and cost optimization of operations.

In this scenario, the operator and the municipality can quickly implement a flexible free-floating fleet, with the adoption of virtual stations (areas located in the mobile map where it is possible to park) to limit urban clutter and subsequently add to the fleet some fixed stations for consolidated traffic routes.

An Hybrid e-Bike sharing solution can help improve flexibility and cost optimization for both large and small urban centres.

These solutions aim at reducing risks, optimizing battery recharging and vehicle redistribution operations, looking forward to designing sustainable cities.

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About Vaimoo

VAIMOO – Vehicles Artificial Intelligence MO(O)ved, the connected e-bike sharing solution empowering transportation leaders to achieve a sustainable, efficient, safe and comfortable mobility experience. Recently adopted by one of the largest European micro-mobility operators to extend its e-scooter sharing service in the UK, VAIMOO has also been implemented by the cycling capitals of Copenhagen and Rotterdam. Its innovative and flexible e-Bike Sharing system includes e-bike fleets, racks, a management platform integrable with third-party transports, and an engaging app for a multi-modality user’s journey.