Bikes powered by the sun are about to hit the streets of Oakland.

A community coalition including Sungevity just launched Bike Solar Oakland’s first pilot program, bringing eight solar-powered electric bikes to Jack London Square. “Here’s another reason to call Oakland ‘the sunny side of the Bay,’” said Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf at the launch event.

How does the program work? The electric bikes, provided by Fremont-based GenZe, will be housed in a solar-powered charging station located at 4th & Broadway (right down the street from Sungevity headquarters). Commercial residents in Jack London Square will be able to borrow the bikes to run errands, ride to meetings, or even take a scenic trip around Lake Merritt – all powered by Oakland sunshine.

The pilot program is the first of its kind. If successful, Bike Solar Oakland is hoping to expand the program to more locations in Oakland and beyond, making it easier than ever to get around without a car.  In the meantime, if you live or work in Oakland, keep your eyes peeled for the charging station around town: Concord-based solar gurus DC Solar built the station on wheels for maximum flexibility.

“Bike Solar Oakland demonstrates that solar energy can impact the transportation sector in many ways, providing clean, accessible, and economical mobility options for urban communities,” Danny Kennedy, CalCEF’s Managing Director and Sungevity’s co-founder.

It will take a village to transform our transportation sector. In this case, it is thanks to our community partners including the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), GenZe, DC Solar, the Jack London Square Improvement District and the City of Oakland that Bike Solar Oakland is off and rolling.  Together, we hope to prove a model for sustainable urban transportation that can be replicated in other cities around the U.S. and the world.

Follow Bike Solar Oakland on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the program.

Peddle on, Oakland!

Posted by Leslye Penticoff

Leslye is the Content and Community Manager for Sungevity. She's also an avid coffee drinker and rock climber, and serves on the Board of Directors at Margination, a nonprofit in Troy, NY.