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Scooter brand Lavoie purchases VanMoof and plans re-launch

Scooter brand Lavoie purchases VanMoof Scooter brand Lavoie purchases VanMoof

Speaking of bankruptcy, VanMoof, whose 2023 flame-out was one of the most talked-about e-bike business stories of the year, will be rising from its ashes thanks to a scooter company. It’s new owner is McClaren Applied’s scooter brand The way and its new leaders are Elliot Wertheimer and Nick Fry.

Wertheimer and Fry’s first move was to begin rebuilding VanMoof’s decimated workforce. Once numbering more than 700 employees, layoffs as a result of the bankruptcy had brought that number down to just a few dozen who were charged with servicing the needs of current VanMoof owners. That number has now been tripled to more than 100, which should make servicing existing owners smoother and speedier.

The new plan for VanMoof begins with improving parts sourcing in order to service VanMoof dealers and repair shops. Once there is a reliable parts pipeline, the plan is to bring back sales of new VanMoof e-bikes. The third step is a surprise, though—introduce a VanMoof-branded scooter.

According to Wertheimer and Fry, the new scooter will be introduced sometime in the first half of 2024. There’s no word yet on how much of Lavoie’s scooter technology will show up in VanMoof’s scooter.

This second bite at the apple could be good for VanMoof. Last spring, the company introduced new models that used fewer proprietary parts in order to make service both easier and faster. This may give the company a chance to sell some more reliable and serviceable e-bikes.

E-bike subscription program Friiway being offered to Bay Area retailers

Not everyone can afford to purchase a premium e-bike after meeting their monthly expenses, but an e-bike holds the promise of allowing someone to cut their monthly expenses by cutting what we spend on gas, insurance, parking and maintenance. A new company called Friiway is rolling out a new subscription service for those who want to ride an upscale e-bike but can’t or don’t wish to commit to a full purchase just yet.

The new business is focused on California’s Bay Area for now and began with The New Wheel an e-bike retailer.

Unlike a bike share program, Friiway’s subscription program means that users take the e-bike home with them and treat it like their personal property. Subscriptions can be purchased in monthly, six-month and annual terms.

Friiway is focusing on high-end brands such as Stromer and Riese and Muller, brands whose e-bikes typically run more than $4000. The subscription program offers potential buyers the opportunity to see how an e-bike fits into their lives. Friiway also allows subscribers to apply 15 percent of their subscription to the purchase price of a new e-bike. The subscription covers the e-bike plus a lock, replacement parts and maintenance. It also includes a theft and damage insurance policy.

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