Revel introduces a $99-a-month e-bike subscription for NYC residents

Electrical moped rental firm Revel is increasing its product lineup to incorporate month-to-month e-bike subscriptions for residents of New York Metropolis. It’s the newest firm to attempt to capitalize on the e-bike boom by shifting to a Netflix or Spotify subscription mannequin for transportation.

For $99 a month, clients can get a trendy electrical bike manufactured by NYC-based e-bike firm Wing delivered straight to their door. The worth additionally contains complimentary upkeep, together with flat tires fixes, unfastened chains repairs, or brake maintenance. Service requests might be submitted by way of Revel’s smartphone app, and Revel says a restore technician will reply inside 24 hours. The corporate can even provide a motorcycle lock and academic materials to assist subscribers navigate New York Metropolis’s less-than-bike-friendly streets.

In an interview, Revel CEO Frank Reig mentioned he watched his fellow New Yorkers embrace biking in a lot better numbers in the course of the early months of the pandemic, and was decided to satisfy that demand with a product of his personal.

“We’ve been listening to our customers to grasp what they need and what they want,” Reig mentioned, “and being able to ship a car at a time when it couldn’t be extra wanted for a metropolis like New York.”

It’s an fascinating transfer from Revel, the shared electrical scooter firm that has been operating in New York City since 2018. Nevertheless it’s additionally very a lot consistent with the place issues are headed for micromobility corporations that survived the primary yr of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scooter firm Lime recently added electric mopeds to its lineup, in addition to e-bikes after acquiring Uber’s bike-share company Jump. Chicken additionally dabbled with electric bikes and mopeds earlier than deciding to stay with scooters.

With e-bikes usually costing between $1,400 and $3,000, subscriptions are seen as a extra reasonably priced different to non-public possession. The founders of SoundCloud lately launched an e-bike subscription service in Germany referred to as Dance. Swapfiets is one other service that’s well-established in some European markets. The Dutch firm simply recently added e-bikes to its roster of merchandise and launched in Berlin in July. And within the US, Bird and Lime have been experimenting with subscriptions for its electrical scooters, with mixed results. One other firm, Unagi, offers its electric scooters for $39-a-month in some US cities.

Subscriptions have been a blended bag for the auto trade. Ford walked away from its service final fall following low demand. Cadillac shut down its service, Book, in 2018, solely to resurrect it a number of months later with fewer choices. BMW recently discontinued its $2,000-a-month Entry by BMW service.

Revel’s within the shared moped enterprise; why not one thing related for e-bikes? Requested whether or not Citi Bike’s unique contract with the town of New York meant Revel couldn’t have launched a shared e-bike service, Reig mentioned Revel needed to keep away from blocking the sidewalks like most scooter corporations. “We don’t need to be on the sidewalk,” he mentioned.

It’s additionally Revel’s newest effort to develop past mopeds. The corporate lately introduced plans to constructing a DC fast-charging station for electrical autos in New York Metropolis, the place it’s based mostly. Revel first launched its shared moped service in Brooklyn in 2018, ultimately increasing in Manhattan and Queens. And it has been rising ever since touchdown a $27.6 million funding from a bunch of backers together with Ibex Buyers, Toyota AI Ventures, Blue Collective, Launch Capital, and Maniv Mobility.

Now the corporate is able to department out into a brand new mode of electrified transportation, although not too divergent from its fleet of battery-powered mopeds. Wing has been making and promoting e-bikes since 2018, when it first launched its fashionable, VanMoof-looking Freedom mannequin. Its newest fashions, the Freedom 2 and Freedom X, are cleaner variations of that authentic bike.

The Freedom 2 contains an built-in 36-volt battery and a 550W Bafang hub motor. It has a prime velocity of 20 mph and a spread 60 miles, relying on which energy setting you’re in. The Freedom X contains the identical elements, in addition to a hidden digital show and torque sensors that regulate the motor based mostly on how exhausting you’re pushing the pedals.

Picture by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Seth Miller based Wing after his first e-bike was stolen from in entrance of his workplace constructing. The corporate that manufactured the bike had disbanded, so he began researching completely different suppliers. He quickly found {that a} majority of the e-bikes offered within the US are simply cobbled collectively from quite a lot of off-the-shelf Chinese language-made elements present in a catalog. It sounded easy, so Miller figured he’d attempt it himself. (The Verge reviewed the original Freedom in 2019 and located it to be a trendy and reasonably priced trip.)

“We couldn’t be extra excited to associate with a fellow NYC firm that shares our imaginative and prescient for modernizing and electrifying city transportation in an environmentally pleasant approach,” Miller instructed The Verge. “Merely put, New York is healthier with bikes.”

Mopeds are arguably a sooner method to get round than e-bikes, however they will also be extra harmful, particularly for novice riders. Revel was forced to temporarily shut down its service in New York Metropolis final yr after two clients have been killed and one was critically injured whereas using the shared electrical mopeds. The corporate ultimately resumed service with new protective measures for riders like a compulsory in-app security take a look at and a requirement that every one riders take a selfie of themselves sporting a helmet earlier than they’ll be allowed to trip.

Revel can also be partnering with helmet firm Fend to supply a reduction on its foldable bike helmets. The e-bike subscription service shall be referred to as Coast by Revel and clients can becoming a member of a waitlist, after which Revel will begin delivering bikes beginning in March.

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