Unexpected Allies: General Motors Installs Shared Bikes For Its Employees

In a new sign of hippie madness and demonstrating again that the bike is for subversive people,  General Motors announced that it will install a system of shared bikes at the Warren Technical Center, a research facility in Detroit. According to the press release, the bikes will assist its 19,000 employees to move between 61 buildings and 133 hectares occupied by the huge center  (link to Google Maps).

We design cars but go by bike. Promotional image © General Motors.

I do not like copying press releases, but this has very juicy pieces. According to engineer John Waechter, shared bikes “are a fantastic idea”:

“I really want to get to meetings quickly without having to walk to the car and find parking. This is good exercise, good for mobility in our workplace and a good way to investigate truth transportation without cars. ”

We’re talking about General Motors. They are dedicated to building and selling cars. It may sound them some of its brands like Opel, Chevrolet Hummer or dead. If people are interested in how this works bikes, they believe that something is changing.

Bikes program is going to manage Zagster.  From the point of view of use, can be a paste requiring helmet users. It is probably to avoid legal complications in case of accident.

Other experiments GM: the EV1 1996. Image Mariordo in Wikipedia.

GM is no novice in media research “alternative” transportation. In 1996 they released as a test market one of the first electric cars with massive vocation, the EV1,which were ceded in leasingmore than 1,000 units.

In 1990, the government of Califonia, through the California Air Resources Board (CARB), issued  the LEV / ZEV mandate:  to vehicle manufacturers the progressive reduction of CO2 emissions in future vehicles was imposed and tax advantages were granted to who would buy lower emission vehicles.

The intent of GM EV1 was to investigate the feasibility of an electric vehicle and meet the LEV / ZEV mandate California. In 2003, for reasons that are not known thoroughly shuffled many- -and finally canceled the program and called for all vehicles to tenants. It is said that the development of the batteries was not as fast as expected, the EV1 were too expensive to produce and maintain for GM given the low volume of sales achieved, that GM did not want to cannibalize the sale of other vehicles that left him more margin, which GM was interested in maintaining profits from the sale of spare parts needed far more in internal combustion vehicles mostly complexity-, there was pressure from the oil industry … the thing was very controversial and was recorded up a documentary, “who Killed the electric car?”, in which most enthusiastic users had their version.

Forgive the digression.

Either way, it is very significant that within GM understand that  the car and the bike can be complementary  and not enemies. Perhaps mere car manufacturers pass transport providers and mobility, changes that also are considering other: Ford, without leaving Michigan, and sells electric bikes with your brand, although Pedego manufactured.

Yes, that’s a Ford brand bike. Image Pedego, rights reserved.

¿They will take note car manufacturers here?