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VanMoof Plans to Sell a High-Speed e-Bike Whether Cities are Ready or Not

The Dutch company’s CEO talks about why faster is better and the future of micro-mobility.

The model V
Source: VanMoof
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Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof will begin selling a high-speed model, called the V, by the end of next year, the company said Tuesday. The V will have a top speed of 31 mph in the U.S. and a price tag of about $3,600, according to the announcement. “We see a big customer group that’s very keen to go faster and go much further on the e-bike than before,” says VanMoof co-founder and chief executive officer Ties Carlier, who started the company in 2009 with his older brother, Taco. In September, VanMoof announced that it had raised $128 million, making it one of the most-funded e-bike startups in the world.

VanMoof’s high-design bikes have proved popular with city commuters. Faster e-bikes, in Carlier’s view, are the obvious next step in the evolution of urban transportation. Yet the boom in cycling in U.S. and European cities—driven by the pandemic and climate-change imperatives—has brought renewed attention to how cars, pedestrians and a proliferating array of small, electric two-wheelers can safely share roads. VanMoof has decided not to wait around for these arguments to play out and is introducing the V to try to push them toward a fast, flexible, non-car conclusion. The company is announcing the bike, and beginning to take reservations, a year ahead of production so that it can educate riders and cities and try to persuade them to embrace higher speeds.