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Capital Bikeshare goes electric, adding 80 e-bikes to the fleet

The announcement comes as D.C. residents zoom around the city on both Capital Bikeshare and dockless bikes.
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 20: Bikes are displayed during the launching of the Capital Bikeshare program September 20, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- Capital Bikeshare is adding electric bikes to its fleet on Wednesday.

The new additions were initially announced in early August with a tweet by DDOT:

Now, it's come to full fruition with DDOT announcing 80 new e-bikes to the fleet on Wednesday.

According to a press release by DDOT, the bikes, "known as Capital Bikeshare Plus, are battery operated pedal-assist bicycles that will offer another affordable solution to get around quickly and easily."

They'll cost the same as the existing bikes.

The program is currently a pilot which is expected to run through November. The bikes are a distinctive black and can be unlocked using one's Bikeshare key fob or the app.

"Capital Bikeshare Plus will be a fun experience for both existing members and new users alike," said DDOT Capital Bikeshare Manager Kim Lucas. "For those trying the system for the first time, they can also take advantage."

The announcement comes as D.C. residents zoom around the city on both Capital Bikeshare and dockless bikes.

This would be the second electric bike option in the city, the first coming from the Uber-owned Jump.

Colin Tooze, spokesperson for Uber and Jump, said electric bikes help make going up and down hills easier.

“If you live in Columbia Heights and work downtown, the bikes can make for an easier commute,” Tooze said. Currently, Jump is the only dockless bikeshare company to offer electric bikes.

Aside from Capital Bikeshare and Jump, riders looking for electric options can hop onto the ubiquitous electric Waybot, Bird and Limebike scooters around the city.

This isn’t the only new opportunity Capital Bikeshare has recently introduced to its fleet. Riders can now sign up for its Bike Angels program, scoring points if they take bikes from crowded docking stations to less crowded ones.

RELATED: 'Bike Angels' expanding cycling options for DMV commuters

Bikes, dockless or not, are a fixture of the city, growing particularly more common since dockless bike companies came to the District.

Nonetheless, not all companies have been able to prosper in DC. Ofo and Mobike have both pulled out of the District, saying that DDOT’s cap of 400 bikes is bad for business.

RELATED: Bumpy ride for dockless bike companies in DC

Jump, which spoke with WUSA9 prior to Capital Bikeshare’s electric bike announcement, sees dockless bikes and Capital Bikeshare as different businesses, however. “The competition in our view is private car ownership,” Tooze said.

Tooze says bikes in the city are a great way to give people alternatives to cars and “gives people in a large and growing city as many options as possible.”