Santander Cycles expands to include e-bike fleet

Deniz Huseyin

12 August 2022

500 e-bikes will be available at Santander Cycles docking stations across central London


London’s bike hire fleet is to grow next month with the introduction of 500 electric bikes.

From 12 September the e-bikes will initially be available to registered users only, for £3.30 per 30 minutes or an additional fare of £1 per 60 minutes for monthly and annual members. 

Transport for London (TfL) and Santander said the e-bikes will be distributed across “key central London locations”.

The scheme’s bikes are provided, distributed and maintained by contractor Serco. A TfL spokesperson said that the new e-bikes are fitted with a sensor, which notifies Serco once batteries drop to 20% of charge.

“Serco then use e-cargo bikes and e-vans to find the bikes that have low battery, swapping the batteries out for fully charged ones,” the spokesperson told LTT.

Tariffs will be increased from 12 September to support the launch of e-bikes and “secure continued investment in cycle hire”. There will be a new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride, which will replace the current daily access charge of £2 for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, with additional charges for rides over 30 minutes.

There will also be a new monthly membership option, costing £20 per month, which will allow customers an unlimited number of 60-minute rides in the month.

Meanwhile, annual membership will increase from £90 to £120, next month, with the length of unlimited rides increasing from 30 to 60 minutes.  

The scheme has grown from 350 docking stations and 5,000 bikes, when it was launched in 2010, to the current 800 docking stations and 12,000 bikes.

Bike hire in the capital has continued to break records for 11 record months in a row, with every month from September 2021 to July 2022 achieving the highest number of hires for that month since the scheme began, said TfL. 

It added that 10.9 million hires took place in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2018 by 371,000 hires. 

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am delighted to be launching our first ever e-bikes for hire. Another first for London hot on the heels of another record-breaking month for Santander Cycles, which saw an incredible 1.3m journeys in July. It will be great to see these new e-bikes on London’s streets soon. 

“The new Santander Cycles e-bikes will play an important role in helping to break down some of the barriers that stop people from getting on a bike, including fitness, age and length of journey.” 

David Eddington, TfL’s head of cycle hire, said: “We want to make sure that the scheme continues to be one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of travelling in the capital. The new bikes, alongside our simpler new tariff, will ensure that the scheme can build on this success and be financially sustainable, playing a full role in a green and healthy future for London.”     

TfL also reported that seven new docking stations are to be installed in the London Borough of Southwark later this year. This will be the scheme’s first expansion since it was introduced to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019. The new docking stations will be located at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Brandon Street, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will be built with funding from Southwark Council.   

Cllr Catherine Rose, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for parks, streets and clean air, said: “We are delighted to be working with TfL to expand the Santander Cycle scheme further south in our borough and excited to welcome the first of these additional cycle hire docking stations at the junction next to Burgess Park.   

“The more people who switch from their cars to a bike, especially for short local trips, the better our air quality will be. People who cycle or walk more can also see improvements in physical and mental health. We want to see more Santander bikes in more places in Southwark.”

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