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LimeBike On The Roll To Disrupt Electric Bike-Sharing Market

The bold idea of creating electric vehicles (EV) was borne out of automotive geniuses and business magnates like Ferdinand Porsche, Henry Ford, and prolific inventor Nikola Tesla. Motor and battery-powered vehicles have been around for more than 100 years, and it is fascinating how the drive to innovate the vehicle remains the same today.

Different types of electric vehicles are gracing streets around the world, and one of the most popular EVs is the electric bicycle (E-Bike).

According to Navigant Research, E-Bikes are becoming more popular and now are defeating electric cars in terms of volume. The market research and consulting company says the sales of electronic bicycles are projected reach 360 million by the year 2023.

This gives hope to huge E-Bike companies like LimeBike, a bike-sharing company in San Mateo, California that recently launched the biggest fleet of electric-assist bikes in the United States.

The bike-sharing startup has once again stepped into the limelight when it launched about 500 Lime-E’s in Seattle. The launch that took place in the Emerald City will go down in history because the number of shared e-bikes outnumbered that of any other city in the U.S.

LimeBike aims to lessen the traffic congestions in Seattle. The goal makes the company not just a smart bicycle-sharing company, but also a smart mobility solution provider.

Toby Sun, the Co-Founder and CEO of LimeBike says, “Lime-E will provide Seattle with a fast, efficient, equitable source of first-and-last mile transportation at no cost to the city and minimal cost of riders.” He added, “We are constantly transforming and adapting our fleet to fit the needs of each market, and we’re excited to offer our electric assist bikes to Seattle first.”

All About Lime-E

The fleet of electric-assist bikes in Seattle is both easy-to-use and affordable. Using Lime-E’s will just cost riders $1 to unlock. Moreover, if they want to have an additional riding time, they will need to pay another $0.10 per minute.

Reports have suggested that the updated pricing of Lime-E makes it one of the most affordable modes of transportation.

The pace is also not going to be a problem for the riders because the smart bikes have a maximum speed of 14.8 MPH. It can stand the hustle and bustle of the streets.

LimeBike will not only settle in Seattle because they are also planning to roll out their product in other places such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

Keeping the Fire Burning

Some companies are happy to take a rest while they are experiencing success, but not LimeBike. The smart bike-sharing startup is plotting another massive launch and this time it is on electric scooters.

People are now becoming fond of using E-Scooters because they are much more compact than the usual bikes, and way safer than longboards.

The California-based company still has not provided the exact date for their launch of the Lime-S, but they are making sure that it would be as exceptional as their Lime-E’s.

One of the reasons why LimeBike is entering the electric scooter market is to challenge their competitor, Spin. Just like LimeBike, Spin is also a bike-sharing startup that is getting its hands into scooter sharing.

Sun said, “This is an exciting and competitive landscape. What you are beginning to see is that some players in the bike-share industry will not make it because of a lack of funding and operational excellence.”

Top Investors and Competitors of LimeBike

Without help from investors, it will not be possible for LimeBike to advance with their venture. LimeBike has recently raised an additional $70 million, raising its total funding to $132 million. Firms such as GGV, Coatue, and the renowned, Andreessen Horowitz are backing the company.

Another company investing in LimeBike is Brendan Wallace, the Co-Founder, and Managing Partner of Fifth Wall. He said, “We’re interested in bike-sharing because it’s something real estate owners really want.”

In addition, the following companies are giving LimeBike a run for its money in the industry of bike sharing:

Spin – A bike-sharing startup company located in San Francisco, California. Euwyn Poon, Derrick Ko, and Zaizhuang Cheng are the founders of the company.

Ofo – The Beijing-based bike-sharing startup has an operation in over 10 million yellow-colored bikes in 20 countries. Dai Wei is the founder.

Motivate – A well-known New York-based company that runs bike-sharing systems. Jay Walder is the President and CEO.

LimeBike is a force to reckon with in the industry of smart bike sharing. The launch of the largest fleet of electric-assist bikes in Seattle is just the beginning of its success. This milestone from LimeBike will surely create a bold impact not just to its respective market but to the society as well.



Smart Buildings: Disrupting Businesses And The Way People Live

The hackneyed expression “out with the old, in with the new” could be very much associated with what is happening in the smart building technology and construction industries right now. People are embracing possibilities and opportunities in different industries, and most, if not all, are happening in the urban areas.

Living in a nice and quiet place in the countryside was once coveted, but now it seems the tables have turned.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80.7% of the population in the United States is currently residing in urban places. The number is continuously growing, which may be related to the advent of smart buildings. The concepts and designs of smart buildings are no longer limited to offices and commercial spaces. Today they’re cropping up in more and more residential spaces.

The bold idea of a smart building has been evident in 17th century designs. Throughout the years, researchers and developers have been looking for different ways to improve the smart building technology. One significant advancement is the integration of a high-tech automated operation called Internet of Things (IoT).

Because of the automation prowess brought by the IoT, it allows tenants of smart buildings to control various systems such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), security, lighting, electrical plug-loads, and audio-visuals. Sensors attached to the buildings detect equipment malfunction.

Smart buildings can provide efficient and cleaner energy. Sensors can detect free spaces, and can also optimize site cleaning for dirty areas.

These are just some of the wonders that a tenant will experience by choosing a futuristic facility. Smart buildings offer cost-effectivity as one of its highest benefits.

Smart Buildings Save Energy Costs

The continuous growth of smart buildings will not only allow homeowners and businesses to experience a warm and safe environment, it could also lower their energy costs.

According to Tina Casey, an Author at TriplePundit, a smart building is just a normal building that has the ability to “achieve significant energy savings by taking advantage of improved technology and materials in terms of structure, appliances, electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC.”

Delving into the smart building technology could definitely save 22% of the United States’ total estimated electricity usage by the year 2030.

StratIS, an app-based system that has been introduced to smart buildings to help tenants control their usage of electricity so they can save more money.

StratIS is not a typical application-based system because it was developed as a platform for access, energy, and automation, controlling the user’s smart units. Felicite Moorman, the CEO of StratIS says, “StratIS actually evolved from the idea that we could save people money in public housing on their energy spent. That isn’t something that has been fiscally viable prior to out really creating the technology and the software platform to do that.”

She added, “Our focus remains on energy savings, but we certainly speak to whatever the private sector is demanding.”

StratIS is not the only company ready to disrupt the industry of smart buildings. The following are some companies that are also focusing on providing innovation to smart buildings:

Enlighted – The Sunnyvale-based company designs, creates, and manufactures lighting control systems for different businesses. Joe Costello heads Enlighted. The company offers high-quality IoT applications and systems, making smart buildings brilliant. Enlighted has an estimated revenue of $15 million.

75F – A startup company based in Minnesota; the company is a building automation system that delivers control solutions and deals with HVAC technology. Deepinder Singh is the CEO of the startup company that has a projected revenue of $2.4 million.

BuildingIQ – A company that has been creating a bold impact on the smart building industry since 2009. Michael J. Nark is the President and CEO of the company that offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution when it comes to energy optimization. The company’s 5i Intelligent Energy platform has the capability to forecast energy demand and change HVAC settings accordingly. BuildingIQ has an estimated revenue of $4.3 million.

These are just some of the companies that deal with the technology of smart buildings. Smart buildings are evolving, and without a doubt, they will be important components of the smart cities.





FirstEnergy Invests in Training Center for Digital Energy

FirstEnergy Corp, a leading electric utility based in Akron, Ohio, is expanding its West Akron campus with a brand new 88,000 square-foot training facility. The bold move will create a center which will evaluate, train, and test their staff for the new digital grid tech. This $37 million Center for Advanced Energy Technology aims to get the nod of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Certification will be awarded to those who have efficient and sustainable cost-saving project.

FirstEnergy Corp is one of the largest energy producers in the country. Even with the upcoming closure of its coal-fired Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island, West Virginia, the company will still control 14,795 Megawatts (MW) of power generation from coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewables.

Real-Life Simulation Based Training

The center is just one of FirstEnergy’s projects to promote clean and smart energy. Once the center is in place, the company will lead the way in modernizing the electric grid over a large area. In fact, it will encompass six states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.

The tech will try to simulate actual real-world scenarios that will give technicians and engineers a more hands-on environment when handling the power grid — especially when maintaining and upgrading the systems in place. Simulation training is more common in the use of new equipment and in other high tech industries, where there is a prohibitive cost for using existing equipment for training.

The center essentially belongs to the company’s initiative of “Energizing the Future”. The goal of the program is to upgrade transmission facilities by providing advanced equipment and modern technology that will reinforce the grid. It also aims to reduce significantly the duration and frequency of experienced power outages.

Better Equipped to Train More People

Carl Bridenbaugh, the Transmission Vice President, said the center would directly support the company’s effects in building and designing infrastructure for smart energy. They will be tasked with replacing the old, mechanical devices of the past and update it to the new digital devices across the entirety of the system. These new devices remotely monitored, which can help them react to real-time situations for anything that may happen to the electric grid. They can better serve their customer if they have a facility that can help them evaluate and test technologies that will be used in a real-world simulation. This can ensure that they can deliver a steady flow of energy 24/7.

The facility’s classrooms can train up to 50 people at a time. They will be teaching new grid technologies like digital-relay devices that can then be used to identify the location of equipment failure without having to be on-site. With this, employees will be able to evaluate and test any equipment that can be used and check whether it follows the industry standards including those for cyber security.

Investing in Future Technology

Since 2014, FirstEnergy has upgraded and replaced transmission lines as well as incorporated new, smart technology into the grid. Additionally, they have outfitted their substations with new equipment as well as placed enhanced security features. The company said these upgrades have significant improved the performance of FirstEnergy’s transmission system.

In a recent news release, FirstEnergy said it has earmarked $775 million to invest in distribution, transmission and infrastructure projects this 2018. The investments aim to boost the reliability of its service in the Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison and Penn Power areas.

FirstEnergy has 10 regulated distribution companies which form one of the largest investor-owned electric systems. They serve six million customers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.