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Uber brings electric bicycle rentals to Europe, starting with Berlin

Its Jump on-demand bikes will roll across the German capital this summer.

jump-bike-1-sean-hollister

Uber will bring its electric Jump bikes to other European cities afterwards.

Sean Hollister/CNET

Uber will bring its on-demand electric-bicycle service to Europe.

The ride-hailing company's Jump bikes will arrive in Berlin by the end of the summer and expand to other European cities later.

"Uber stands ready to help address some of the biggest challenges facing German cities: tackling air pollution, reducing congestion and increasing access to cleaner transportation solutions," said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive, in Berlin on Wednesday.

Uber acquired bike rental program Jump in April, as part of its effort to wean people off car ownership. Riders pay $2 a ride for 30 minutes on one of its electric bikes in Washington, San Francisco -- where it first tested the program earlier this year -- and other California cities.

The bikes offer an electric boost of up to 20 mph (30 km/ph) every time the rider pedals.

Berlin, however, already has several bike rental options. OBike, Mobike and LimeBike (also offering an electric option) have established app-based services in the German capital.

Khosrowshahi has been on a charm offensive tour of Europe since late May, announcing insurance for the region's drivers and a $23.5 million investment in a Paris development hub for flying taxis.

Updated 4:56 a.m. PST: Adds fresh quote from Uber, adds background.