If owning and maintaining an e-bike for commuting duties seems like too much of a hassle and you've found bikeshare schemes too problematic, then the folks behind the hugely popular music sharing site Soundcloud could have just the thing for you... Dance, which has just raised 15 million euros in its first round of venture capital financing, think it can "spark a global movement" with an all-inclusive e-bike subscription service.
Dance say its ultimate goal is to build "a connected community of passionate e-bike riders", and at the heart of that is a "state-of-the art" e-bike on subscription that customers would sign up for online, and have the bike delivered to their door 24 hours later. As part of the "frictionless" subscription fee (we have no idea how much that would cost yet) you'd get a fully assembled e-bike, maintenance and theft replacement insurance included. Of course it will come with its own app, and when using the bike your mobile will become "a powerful digital dashboard", with GPS tracking, locking/unlocking technology and concierge services.
Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss. one of three founders, says there is a huge demand for Dance, and the company has had plenty of positive responses since launching its pilot program in Berlin:
“In densely populated cities and other urban areas, owning a car shouldn’t be an option especially since cleaner, greener and bike-friendly public infrastructure is increasingly expanding", said Quidenus-Wahlforss.
"These areas are expensive and congested with commuter traffic. Dance is a holistic solution built for the person interested in saving time, the environment and staying healthy.
“We analysed the overall mobility market, evaluated all means of transport, and crunched the numbers on all types of business models for a few years before we found what we were looking for. Dance is by the far the most viable future of biking, bridging the gap between e-bike ownership and more joyful accessibility to go places.”
Currently there are no photos available of Dance's e-bike in the wild, nor do we even know if it exists yet... but its claims are big, promising an e-bike designed from the ground-up that will "create the best riding experience the world has ever seen". Looking at the two renders on Dance's website, we can see that the bike will likely have a belt drive, mudguards, three-spoke wheels and fully internal cable routing.
Currently the service is operating as an invite-only pilot in Berlin, but it's set to expand across the UK and Europe in 2021 with a full launch. If you're interested, or even fancy requesting an invite if you're Berlin-based, check out the Dance website. We've asked Dance for more info on the bike and how much the subscription is likely to cost.