How to start an electric bike rental business in 2022
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One of the most successful types of seasonal business can be considered the rental of electric scooters and bicycles. The electric bike rental business brings excellent profits and is very popular. At the same time, it will be very easy for an entrepreneur to work in this field as it is very easy to open your own bicycle rental company although it certainly requires some investments. Another advantage of this business is that the bike rental market is growing every year. According to Statista data, the bike rental market is predicted to grow by almost 2 times over the next 5 years (from 2022 to 2026).
RexSoft has been working in the electric bike rental business for 5 years since 2017. And although the main direction of our activity is the development of applications for bike rental, we have already managed to accumulate a lot of knowledge in this field. And now we are happy to share our experience with you and help you start a bike rental business. In this article, we will tell you what you need for a bike rental business, how to work with bike rental software, where to get electric bikes and spare parts, and what team you need to effectively manage an electric bike rental company. In addition, you will understand how to plan business expenses, income, and profitability of the bike rental business. Let's do it!
What do you need to start a bike rental business?
The most important thing when starting a bike rental business is the bikes themselves. You need to be careful with the choice of bikes because the income and expenses of your bicycle rental company will depend on their validity. In this article, we have collected the main requirements for an electric bike (technology, physical properties), which will help you make the right choice. Continue reading.
In addition to bikes, you'll also need bike rental software to track and manage them.
Another important step is the selection of personnel, managers, and technicians to monitor the condition of bikes and carry out their repair and maintenance.
Relevant video about Electric Bike Rental Business 🎥
What software is needed for a bike rental business?
Electric bike rental software consists of an application for customers and CRM for bike rental company managers. The client application must be cross-platform, so people can use the application on smartphones with different operating systems (Android, iOs). CRM for managers has a web version that is adapted for mobile devices. Let's find out the necessary functionality of the bike rental business in more detail.
Necessary functionality for electric bike rental software
The main functionality of the electric bike rental software is the ability to track the movement of the vehicle (GPS), a QR code scanner to unlock the bike using a smartphone, and a Smart Lock to lock the bike after the ride.
In addition, electric bike rental software should have a convenient admin panel for users and administrators of the service. It includes the following features:
Main functions of software for bike rental business
- map with the image of bikes
- possibility to view information about the status of the bike and its rates on the map
- rent a bike for the trip
- personal account
- travel story
- balance (top-up, spending history)
- promo codes
- referral program
- messages (incoming messages and mailing)
- settings (password, initial mode with limited speed)
- about us (information page and feedback form)
ADMIN PANEL (CRM)
- user management (editing, blocking for a certain time with a message to the user)
- managers (setting personnel rights))
- bikes (add devices, edit, view travel history and rent device)
- travel (travel history)
- territories (creation of territories for individual cities, city districts, creation of movement zones in these territories)
- batteries (bike battery management)
- battery replacement (recording of battery replacement by staff)
- promo codes (creation)
- message (creating a mailing list)
- editing the text content of the program
- franchise (review)
- team history (login)
The cost of developing software for bike rental business
So, how much does it cost to develop a solution for a bike rental business? RexSoft offers 2 types of solutions for the electric bike rental business:
Electric bike sharing franchise
Thanks to the RexSoft franchise, you have the opportunity to start an electric bike rental business within 2 months. You don't need to develop software from "scratch" - use our ready-made solution, which is easy to adjust to your needs, and pay for a franchise starting from 5 USD for a bike per month. The cost of an electric bike sharing franchise includes a basic fee for setting up the program and a monthly fee for using the program.
- Development of a unique design of the app.
- Customizing the app's appearance.
- Customizing the app functionality.
- Integration of payment systems in the app.
- Setting up the bikes to work with the app.
- Publishing the app in the app stores
150-200 hours + support
From $5 for a bike per month
Custom Software Development
Creation of turnkey software for bike rental business from scratch. We use Flutter and Node.js technologies for development. The choice of this technological stack allows not only to develop cross-platform software solutions (Android, iOS) but also to ensure the stability of work, regardless of how high the load on the server is. The creation of this solution includes the following works:
- Creating prototypes, and unique designs.
- Development of a custom app.
- Development of custom app functionality (for users/administrators).
- Integration of payment systems in the app.
- Configuring the bikes for the app.
- Publishing the app in the app stores (Android, iOS).
Which bikes are suitable for the electric bike rental business?
The most popular brands in the e-bike business are Chinese brands. Among them, there are ready-made offers, where after purchase it is enough to connect a SIM card.
When choosing, you should pay attention to the battery capacity. The better the battery, the longer the bike can travel without charge. A low-capacity battery can cause a sudden shutdown, which will negatively affect the company's reputation. It is better if the charge is enough for a distance of 40 km.
Electric bikes must support Cloud Monitoring and/or IoT technologies. These technologies allow the vehicle to communicate with other devices and monitor its condition in real-time.
In addition, electric bikes must be configured to notify administrators about a strong fall (breakdown) and notification of unauthorized movement (movement outside the authorized route, theft of the bike).
Physical features of electric bikes
- The power of electric bikes should start from 350 W. A 200 lb/90 kg person should be able to climb a 15-degree hill. This is important for hilly terrain. If you choose an electric bike with insufficient power, users will not be able to get to the right places on them and the reputation of the brand will be lost (users will throw the electric bike in the middle of the hill).
- Vandal resistant.
- The suspension must withstand a load of 120 kg.
- Replaceable battery. A charged electric bike is enough for 3-4 hours of active riding. In order for the electric bike to work, you need to change the batteries 3-4 times a day.
- Protection against theft. Battery access and traction charging software access is difficult.
What spare parts are needed for an electric bike
You need to stock up on electric bike parts to keep your business running smoothly. A stock of spare parts is a must and you need to check with factories which parts have high wear and tear and purchase them before starting an electric bike rental business. In particular, you will need:
- Replaceable batteries. 50 bikes require 120 batteries.
- Brake systems.
- Other parts with high wear and tear.
Plant engineers or company representatives will calculate the required set of spare parts and consumables for the appropriate number of electric bikes. In addition, it is possible to order any additional spare parts, the plant provides maximum cooperation and assistance to all customers. Ordering spare parts is not a problem.
How much do electric bikes cost for rental businesses and where to get them?
The Chinese market for electric bikes is the largest in the world and provides a large selection of bikes and spare parts for them. You can buy them by yourself or trust us.
RexSoft cooperates with many manufacturers of electric bikes and has representatives in China who will help you to choose bikes and organize delivery to any country in the world.
Staff for bike rental business
Lets's talk about personnel for the electric bike rental business. Note that some of the roles in this list can be combined. We provide the approximate number of staff required for uninterrupted service of 50 electric bikes.
2 Chargers with cars (cargo van):
- replacement of discharged batteries
- transportation of bikes
1 charger at the office:
- charging batteries
- identifies places where there is a great demand for bikes, plans parking lots for bikes
- repair of bikes
- support service
- responds to user requests (for example, our app has an "Ask a Question" section where a customer can ask support anything in real-time).
Bike rental business profit
The cost of renting bikes consists of an unlocking fee of 1 USD and a per-minute rate from 0.15 to 0.30 USD. Weather conditions (the temperature must be above 0) in the USA allow you to engage in bike rental business from March to November (270 days). We subtracted 15% from the season for days with adverse weather conditions (for example, rainy weather), when city residents prefer other types of transport. So, we have 230 days left. From the experience of our customers, we know that 1 bike can bring 70 USD of income per day. So over the course of a season, 50 bikes can generate nearly $100,000 of monthly revenue or $900,000 per season.
The electric bike rental business is a highly profitable type of business because the income of the bike rental business with 50 bikes can return the initial investment to start the business in one season and cover the main maintenance costs.
Oleksandr KryvotsiukHEAD OF MARKETING AT REXSOFT