Pedal-powered B-Line adds Biketown battery swapping to its urban cargo business

A B-Line trike on a swap run at the Biketown station in Pride Plaza on SW Harvey Milk. (Photo: Reese Massey / B-Line)

A local, pedal-powered freight delivery company will soon fill their cargo boxes with Biketown batteries.

One year after they signed a contract to handle Lime’s electric scooter battery swapping and rebalancing, B-Line Urban Delivery announced Wednesday they will play a similar role for Portland’s Nike-sponsored bike share system.

B-Line says the collaboration with Lyft, the company that operates Biketown, is a “swift and green solution to battery swapping” for the Biketown fleet and that it signifies, “a strategic move to amplify the impact of eco-friendly commuting in the city.”

As of spring 2023, B-Line’s electric cargo trikes had replaced over 320,000 truck miles and have prevented well over a half-million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Lyft and B-Line say the benefits of their battery-swapping partnership will be felt not only by Mother Earth, but in system uptime as well. B-Line’s trikes can swap depleted batteries out faster than Lyft’s current system, so more Biketown bikes will be fully charged and ready to ride. And without as many large vans tending to the fleet, the roads will be safer, and more efficient with less traffic.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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maxD
maxD
8 months ago

I love B-Line

dw
dw
8 months ago

Actually a great use case for cargo bikes replacing vans or trucks. Yes, you have to transport the batteries, but mostly you’re transporting the person that’s actually swapping the batteries out. The bikes and scooters will also be along bike routes anyway, meaning the cargo bikes help take vans off congested arterials.

Amit Zinman
8 months ago
Reply to  dw

I believe that the vans were doing it at night, so not clogging arterials as such, but also that meant that depleted batteries wouldn’t be replaced during the day and a night service is possibly more expensive.