WINGING IT: Revel Expands With Monthly E-Bike Subscriptions
This scooter’s got Wings.
Electric moped-share company Revel is adding e-bikes to its product line, now offering New Yorkers $99 monthly subscriptions for pedal assist e-bikes, manufactured by Wing, the bicycle company.
For less than the cost of a monthly Metrocard, riders will basically have their own personal e-bike — an expansion into micro mobility that Revel co-founder and CEO Frank Reig said was a no-brainer as more New Yorkers took to cycling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The amount of cycling in this city exponentially increased, we were listening to our users. How do we make e-bike ownership as hassle-free as possible?” said Reig.
Starting today on the Revel app, New Yorkers can sign up for access to one of the more than 400 e-bikes manufactured by Wing, but owned and operated by Revel — whose workers will deliver the two-wheeler to each subscriber’s doorstep, and pick it up after the month (or two, or more).
Wing made its debut in the city in 2019, selling its pedal-assist two-wheelers for $1,295 (it also offered a payment plan at $108 per month — basically an interest-free loan until the bike was paid off).
The Revel subscription service — which also includes a lock, removable chargeable battery, and all repairs and maintenance on the bike — will only be available to residents of the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Of course, you can take the bike anywhere, said Reig.
“You can put it on a bike rack, take it upstate, wherever you like,” said Reig.
Reig said he’s just starting with about 400 e-bikes, but expects to make more available as demand increases during the warmer months.
“We’re launching with several hundred, but as people sign up for service, the supply will flex upward,” he said.
Revel’s expansion comes after the company was forced to abruptly pause service of its 30 mile-per-hour electric mopeds following three fatal crashes in July. The mopeds hit the streets again in late August with a slew of new safety protocols following their month-long suspension.
Revel’s main competition for rentable e-bikes in the five boroughs so far is just Citi Bike, which offers its pedal-assist two wheelers for either an extra $0.10 per minute (up to $2) on top of the $179 annual fee, or for $0.15 per minute on top of the $3 single ride fee. Citi Bike has recently added hundreds of e-bikes to the street, making the once-elusive pedal assist bikes easier to come by.
And it’s likely Revel will soon face even more competition after state legislators passed in the budget last April the long-awaited legalization of e-bikes. And the Department of Transportation is about to announce the winner(s) of its e-scooter share pilot program, which will operate outside of Manhattan. But no matter which company wins, riders can’t take the micro-machine home with them as they can with a Revel Wing bike.