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You can now subscribe to an e-bike or ’smart bike’

Published April 11, 2018
A VanMoof SmartBike.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — The Dutch e-bike brand VanMoof is launching a subscription program for its bikes, starting at $19 per month.

The fee provides subscribers with unlimited exclusive access to their bike as long as they need it. The fee also covers maintenance and a theft recovery service. VanMoof makes e-bikes and a nonelectric SmartBike that has a wireless connectivity features, including an integrated lock operated by Bluetooth. If stolen, the bikes can be tracked with a GPS and Bluetooth system. 

Subscribers pick up their bike at their nearest VanMoof store: they are in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Tokyo and Taipei. The bikes can be returned to any of the stores for maintenance or repair. Although subscribers can take their bikes anywhere, the company said the program is most convenient for subscribers who live close to a VanMoof store so they can bring the bikes in for maintenance. Subscribers who travel to another city with a VanMoof store can borrow a bike there. 

Subscribers can end their contract by returning the bike to a store. Or they can sell the subscription to another user to defray the cost of the startup fee. 

"By making quality, high-tech smart bikes accessible to a large audience, VanMoof's hopes to transform the ways we move in cities and improve the U.S.'s urban mobility as a whole. The subscription plan removes riders' most common barriers: cost, maintenance and fear of theft," the company said. 

The company said the high quality and durability of its bikes increases their life span and makes the subscription plan more viable. 

"The better the quality of our bikes, the longer people can ride them, the lower the monthly cost of the subscriptions can be. We've been working towards this win-win situation ever since we started 9 years ago," said Taco Carlier, who co-founded the company with his brother, Ties, in 2009.

Subscriptions to the SmartBike will be available April 24. A subscription to the latest SmartBike model has a start-up fee of $198 and then a $19 monthly fee; the bike retails for $899. 

VanMoof will launch a new e-bike model in May that will be available for a subscription fee that the company is not announcing yet. 

More information: vanmoof.com.

Topics associated with this article: Bikeshare, Electric bike

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