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E-bike sales are soaring, but buying a new set of wheels isn't the only option. Last month, we covered a French marketplace for secondhand e-bikes. Now, a Dutch startup is pitching conversion as an alternative.
Using HeyFiets, consumers take their existing, regular bicycle to any bicycle repair shop, which then converts it into an e-bike by swapping out the front wheel for one with an electric motor. A battery is strapped to the bike's saddle post. Since the battery is small and easily detached, it can be popped into a bag when parking the bike to avoid theft.
Customers pay a one-off installation fee of EUR 29, plus EUR 25 monthly. The subscription includes service of any motor issues as well as battery maintenance and replacement.
In a global consumer survey by EY, 84% of respondents said sustainability is important when making purchase decisions, but 47% said it costs too much to purchase sustainable products. That's one of the issues HeyFiets is solving. Its monthly fee of EUR 25 is much lower than e-bike rentals from popular platforms like Dance and Swapfiets.
The other goal HeyFiets is pushing for is circularity. Using an existing bike obviously demands fewer resources than building a new one. And while DIY kits have been around for a few years, they require higher investments in time, knowledge and money than most casual cyclists are willing to spend.
To get more people to use bicycles, buses or trains instead of driving, those sustainable options need to be as convenient, carefree and affordable as possible. Brands that hit that sweet spot will go far ;-)
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