OVO Bikes scheme flips the switch on Cardiff’s first fleet of e-bikes

27 August 2021

Fifty electric bikes hit the streets of Cardiff this week as the city’s OVO Bikes scheme, operated by nextbike, becomes more accessible than ever.

The fleet of 50 OVO e-bikes and six electric stations launched today (August 26th), when the public were able to see the OVO Bikes in action for the first time in the city. A further 75 e-bikes and nine stations will be rolled out at a later date, taking the fleet up to 125 e-bikes.

The launch means that riders will be able to use an OVO e-bike to cycle between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, as the schemes are linked for the first time - which has long been an ambition for nextbike, Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

A fleet of 50 e-bikes was launched in Penarth last year, and have proved incredibly popular with the public.

E-bikes are a combination of a conventional bike with a motor that take some of the effort out of pedalling for the rider. With top speeds of 25km per hour, the e-bikes can cover greater distances faster and with less effort.

The OVO e-bikes, which will join the existing Cardiff fleet of 1,000 standard OVO bikes, were made possible thanks to funding from Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government. Green power supplier OVO Energy was unveiled as the new title sponsor of the city’s bike scheme earlier this month (August) in addition to the Glasgow scheme.

Cardiffians have made more than 1.1 million bike rentals since nextbike launched in the city in 2018, cycling an incredible 3.7 million km around the city – the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back almost 5 times.

E-bike rental will cost £1 per 30 minutes for customers with monthly or annual membership or £2 per 30 minutes on a pay as you ride basis. E-bikes must be returned to e-bike stations or additional fines will be applied.

Nextbike MD, Krysia Solheim, said she was excited to be bringing OVO e-bikes to the city.

“The launch of Cardiff’s OVO e-bikes is not only fantastic news for the city, but also for everyone who uses the Vale of Glamorgan e-bike scheme too. Being able to link the two schemes means that people will be able to travel sustainably between the town and the city with ease.

“E-bikes are not only great for reducing journey times and taking on steep hills, they’re also a great way of increasing inclusivity and getting people of all abilities and fitness levels into cycling.

“Cardiff remains one of our most popular schemes and we’re delighted to be increasing the fleet in this way.

“We’d like to thank our partners for their support in making this ambition a reality, including Cardiff Council, Welsh Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council and our scheme sponsors OVO Energy.”

Cllr Caro Wild, Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “I am delighted to see OVO Energy coming on board as a key partner, and nextbike adding e-bikes to the fleet. This is further endorsement of Cardiff as a cycle-city, and the tremendous appetite there is amongst residents, commuters and visitors to travel the capital by bike.

“As a Council, we are getting on with the work to put the right infrastructure in place to enable those travelling by bike to do so safely, comfortably and with confidence, and to encourage even more people to get into the saddle. Our 10 year transport strategy includes the Council's plans to build five main cycleways across the city, connected to a city centre loop of high quality cycleways, and that work is well and truly under way.

“By improving cycling, as well as walking and public transport options for everyone, we can encourage more and more people to leave their cars at home, reducing congestion, cleaning the air we breathe and helping us all become a little healthier.

“The OVO Energy partnership, nextbike’s continued investment in its fleet, and Cardiff Council’s continuing work to build the cycle infrastructure needed, all show that Cardiff is really going places when it comes to creating the sustainable-transport city both we and future generations so desperately need.”

Cllr Peter King, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood services and Transport, said: “Having become the first Council in Wales to introduce public electric bikes, I’m delighted that the scheme has now expanded, offering users even more opportunity to enjoy them.

“In keeping with the climate emergency we declared in 2019, it is vital that we continue to support active and sustainable methods of transport. The bikes are simple to use and their modest tariffs compare favourably with the cost of travelling by car, bus or train. They also offer anyone thinking of buying an electric bike the opportunity to sample their benefits prior to purchase.

“This initiative will improve the health and wellbeing of commuters and residents and should also be attractive to tourists.”

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said:
“I am very pleased to welcome the first fleet of e-bikes to Cardiff, linking into the Vale of Glamorgan’s scheme. They will help encourage more people to use active travel as a way of getting around the city and into the Vale for work and leisure, improving people’s health and wellbeing whilst creating cleaner air and ensuring our roads are less congested.”

Colin Banks, Head of Sponsorship, OVO said: “We are delighted that our sponsorship can help make Cardiff even more accessible with these brilliant e-bikes. We’re on a mission to zero carbon and our OVO bikes and e-bikes are an important part of our Plan Zero strategy to help create a carbon free world.

“Just last month, we created the OVO Bikes Green Route – a cycle map of the city celebrating all the wonderful local businesses who are championing planet-friendly behaviours. We hope this exciting new phase of our nextbike sponsorship helps to inspire even more people to live a more sustainable lifestyle.”

To find out more about OVO Bikes, the Green Route and to download the map, as well as keep an eye out for more OVO Bikes initiatives in the future, visit: www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-bikes.

For media enquiries contact Sarah Hughes at Nathan Rous PR on 03300 552623. **

Notes to editor:

New station locations/expansions:
City Hall
County Hall
Millenium centre
White Water Centre

nextbike UK Ltd is a subsidiary of nextbike GmbH, the world’s most extensive bike-share provider. With over 200 schemes worldwide, including 10 in the United Kingdom, no other bike share provider offers as much coverage as nextbike. 

Working with public and private organisations to bring high quality, European-made bike-share schemes, nextbike has partnered with firms such as Santander Personal Banking and OVO Energy.  

For more information please visit www.nextbike.co.uk ** 

About OVO Energy


OVO Energy was founded in 2009 to make energy cheaper, greener and simpler. The company has spent the last decade investing in the market leading technology, customer service operations and digital products to help members cut their carbon emissions. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing our customers with us on the journey towards zero carbon living. OVO Energy has committed to being a net zero carbon business and achieve bold science-based carbon reduction targets by 2030, while helping members halve their carbon footprint at the same time.