Electric bike-scooter hybrids from Wheels settle in Brussels
The American start-up, Wheels, launches its free-floating electric shared bikes in Brussels. The first 50 bikes of this mobility platform are primarily located in the city center, but the fleet should be expanded to 500 bikes within a month. Brussels is the eighteenth city in the world where Wheels are available. In Europe, it is the fourth, after Stockholm, Madrid, and Vienna.
The Wheels bikes are a combination of e-scooters and bicycles. They have no pedals and are smaller than a bicycle, but you can sit on them. They have larger wheels than the small e-scooters, and have a lower center of gravity, making them safer on the bumpy cobblestone roads of Brussels.
As is the case with Felyx shared scooters, for example, the Wheels bikes do not need to be recharged. The batteries are simply swapped. “From an environmental point of view, it is an advantage that the batteries are replaceable, which reduces the need for a high number of cars and staff to manage the fleet,” says Axel Lindnér, General Manager EMEA at Wheels.
What’s more, the Wheels bikes are modular, and all parts can be easily maintained or replaced, which significantly extends the life of the bikes. In doing so, the company is trying to counter criticism of the ‘disposable culture’ from other e-scooter providers.
It’s no coincidence that Wheels is launching its electric shared bike as a mobility solution now. More and more people are starting to work outdoors again, and public transport is still not an option for everyone. Micro mobility is on the rise.
To put safety first in these corona times, Wheels introduces the very first self-cleaning handlebars. The entire Brussels fleet of e-bikes will soon be equipped with this. Another technical gadget is that the bikes are equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers that can be connected to the user’s GPS.
Soon, the bikes in Brussels will also be equipped with integrated helmets, with replaceable liners for hygiene and comfort. The Wheels application can be downloaded from the App Store or via Google Play.