Today, VanMoof, the Amsterdam-based maker of stylish smart bicycles, is announcing the VanMoof+ subscription service for a handful of global cities. VanMoof Plus is built around a one-time “key fee” and a monthly subscription rate that significantly lower the entry-price for anyone that’s been longing to commute on an electric bicycle but was put off by their exorbitant prices.
VanMoof Plus is a twist on big-city bike-sharing programs: instead of sharing a fleet of bikes with a city full of people, you subscribe to use a single bicycle, complete with unlimited maintenance and theft protection. In VanMoof’s words, you buy the key, not the bike, which the company continues to own. When you want to end your subscription, you can sell your key (and the bike that goes with it) to another rider to try and recover as much of your key fee as possible. VanMoof Plus is an entirely new bicycle subscription model, a first in the world it seems, according to VanMoof — which may or may not be a good thing.