Kakao Mobility, a subsidiary of South Korea`s top message-app operator Kakao, Wednesday announced a plan to launch an electric bike-sharing service in Korea early next year in cooperation with local bicycle makers Samchuly and Alton Sports.
The new mobility concept comes after Kakao Mobility’s proposed carpool service hit a snag due to strong opposition by licensed taxi drivers.
The three companies agreed to introduce the micro-mobility service that can meet needs for short-distance trips across the country. A pilot e-bike-sharing service will be introduced in some cities in the first quarter of next year before expanding to other regions in the second half.
Talks are underway with local governments to launch the pilot service, Kakao Mobility said.
The bikes available feature an inbuilt pedal assist system to allow users to make comfortable trips. It will help commuters travel short distances and can also be utilized for leisure activities.
“We will try to create a new paradigm in the country’s short- and mid-distant mobility market beyond taxi-hailing and navigation services,” said Kakao Mobility CEO Jeong Joo-hwang.
Kakao Mobility said the e-bike service will be available on Kakao’s mobility platform KakaoT, which will be run in compliance with the nation’s transportation laws.
By Lee Dong-in and Minu Kim
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