Overwhelmed by demand since the Covid-19, bicycle manufacturing plants are struggling to meet the needs of users.
Faced with this shortage, the Rennes metropolitan area decided to have its electrically assisted bicycles repaired by a reintegration company in order to prolong their life.
Cargo bikes will also be offered for long-term rental and purchase as an alternative to the solo car.
This is one of the consequences of the explosion in cycling.
In stores and manufacturing plants, it is difficult to meet the growing demand for cyclists looking for a two-wheeler.
The Rennes metropolis knows something about it.
She, who has undertaken to provide 1,800 electric bikes per year to her inhabitants, must learn to be patient.
Faced with shortages of materials, its suppliers are struggling to fill orders.
In the meantime, Rennes Métropole has therefore decided to bet on a sector dear to elected environmentalists: reuse.
“We realized that we were recovering quite a few bikes that had been used very little during their rental year.
And that it didn't take much to refurbish them,” explains Matthieu Theurier, vice-president of Rennes Métropole in charge of mobility.
A reintegration company is responsible for fixing up the bikes
Thursday evening, the elected environmentalist nevertheless assured the elected officials of the metropolis that the community would be able to offer even more electric bicycles to the inhabitants: 2,000 will be open for rental this year.
And no doubt 2,200 per year from 2023. Growth made possible by the establishment of a recycling sector with Bretagne Ateliers.
This integration company, which has just been renamed Talendi, has set up a small team of three people responsible for "extending the life" of VAEs of the Gitane or MFC brands, in particular by repairing or changing the batteries.
Until now, many of them were "de-electrified" by a sector of La Petite Rennes.
"As soon as you touch the battery, it becomes more complicated, it's a real job", confides Jérôme, one of the mechanics of the Maison du vélo.
“The electrically assisted bicycle is the best alternative to the solo car for journeys of up to 10 km, but its price remains a barrier for some families.
This is why we have set up solidarity pricing”, justifies Matthieu Theurier.
For the most modest households, the purchase price of the bike after one year of rental is 510 euros.
An unbeatable price for a two-wheeler of this range.
Cargo bikes coming soon
Another novelty announced by the Rennes Métropole council: the provision of cargo bikes.
Equipment that is increasingly in demand but which remains inaccessible to many users due to its high price.
“For some families, abandoning the car is not possible because there are children to take to school or shopping.
These cargo bikes can provide an answer, ”says the elected environmentalist.
Even with the help of the metropolis, the investment will remain substantial: 3,900 euros for the Dutch model (3,150 euros with solidarity pricing) and 4,900 euros for the "premium" model entirely designed in Brittany.
Overwhelmed with requests a few years ago, the community has gradually managed to reduce the waiting list for its VAE.
According to Rennes Métropole, you have to wait an average of two months to obtain a long-term rental bike.
A proactive policy that costs the community one million euros each year but seems to be paying off: more and more residents are cycling for their daily journeys.
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