Don’t want to buy an e-bike? Subscribe to one.

E-bike subscription services let riders enjoy the benefits of e-bikes without the hassles.

A startup founded by the team behind Soundcloud is launching an e-bike subscription service, giving people a chance to enjoy the benefits of the bikes without the hassles and high upfront cost. 

The challenge: E-bikes are like regular bicycles, but with a battery that provides extra power while you pedal. You can still get the benefits of exercise using an e-bike, but the battery can make it easier to get up hills and arrive at your destination without dripping in sweat. 

Because they’re electric, e-bikes don’t produce any climate-harming emissions, so they could help in the battle against climate change. 

“We’re trying to build a movement around more livable cities.”

Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss

But some would-be e-bikers may be put off by their price tag — they’re typically between $1,500 and $4,000 upfront, plus the cost of maintenance and repairs. Plus, the bikes are an attractive target for thieves.

E-bike subscription services: Now, German startup Dance is joining a growing list of companies hoping a subscription model can help get more people onto e-bikes. 

For a flat monthly fee of $93 (79 euros), people in Berlin will soon be able to get a Dance One e-bike to use whenever they want — this bike has a 34-mile range, a top speed of about 15 MPH, and a Bluetooth lock that can be opened from a rider’s phone.

e-bike subscription
Dance’s e-bike can be unlocked via a companion app. Credit: Dance

Repairs and maintenance are included in the subscription. Cyclists just schedule a service via an app, and Dance will come to them within 24 hours (except on Sundays). If the e-bike is stolen while locked, Dance will replace it for $118 (100 euros).

If they aren’t feeling it, riders can cancel their e-bike subscription at any time.

Looking ahead: Dance has already conducted a small pilot test in Berlin and will launch the service there with a few hundred e-bikes. The plan is to scale up to thousands in the next few weeks, with a longer-term goal of bringing the e-bike subscription service to other cities.

“We think this ultimately is a global movement,” co-founder Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss told Fast Company. “We’re trying to build a movement around more livable cities, which for us really means cities built for people, not cars.”

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