Flywheel | March 20, 2022
Featuring the top 5 used vehicles of the week and exploring the experience of selling a pre-owned VanMoof
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the market followed by an observation of trends emerging in the industry.
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This week’s featured vehicles are an electric motorcycle, two road commuters, and two utility ebikes. The observation of the week explores how selling and buying a pre-owned VanMoof is one of the best experiences in the secondary micromobility market.
Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
While arguably not a micromobility vehicle since it’s an electric motorcycle that requires a separate motorcycle license, it’s hard not to feature the Mad Max-esque Cake Kalk& when it makes an appearance. Designed by Swedish manufacturer Cake, a brand known for their high performance and high utility electric motorcycles, the Kalk& has been one of the hottest two-wheelers to hit the roads. It’s a street legal version of it’s free-ride and racing sister vehicles, and features a 10kW interior permanent magnet motor and a 2.6kWh battery pack. This specific listing was bought less than a year ago and hasn’t even been registered yet, meaning that the warranty is technically still transferable and the vehicle is still eligible for a ~$1,400 e-vehicle federal tax credit. Listing can be found here.
The RadCity 4 is one of the best selling ebikes on the market, and is Rad Power’s answer to the commuter use-case. The class-2 vehicle features a custom 750W direct-drive hub motor capable of regenerative breaking and a 672Wh Samsung battery pack, giving riders a range of ~30miles. What stands apart in the RadCity 4 is its direct drive motor. Most ebikes typically use a geared drive hub motor to reduce the weight of the powertrain. However, geared hub motors have more components and thereby more failure points. RadCity’s direct drive motor is much simpler, making it a better long-term option that is much more robust and reliable for intense, power users. This is particularly why the RadCity has quickly become a dominant option for last-mile couriers using ebikes for things like food or parcel delivery. This specific listing is actually being sold by an ex-delivery rider and is already retrofitted with many of the accessories required for delivery. As an aside, NYC seems to have the most vehicles that are sold for delivery or were used for delivery in their previous lives. Listing can be found here.
The Specialized Turbo is a powerful commuter ebike, and was one of the first ebikes in the US specifically designed to be a class-3 vehicle. The bike features a 500W Go SwissDrive motor and an integrated 702Wh Samsung battery pack. The powertrain uses a direct drive motor that enables regenerative braking and makes the bike extremely quiet and smooth, all while still still having plenty of power at low speeds unlike most other direct drives. While this specific listing was bought in 2016 and has over 2000 miles of usage, the battery was replaced in early 2020 and the bike was recently serviced for resale. The seller mentions that they are selling the ebike in favor of a scooter, which seems to be an increasingly common reason why people are selling their ebikes. Listing can be found here.
The Juiced ODK U500 V3 is cargo-style commuter designed by the previous iteration of Juiced Bikes (Juiced Riders) in 2013. Its standout feature is its 1536Wh Panasonic battery, which combined with it’s 5000W Bafang hub motor gives the vehicle an astounding 100 miles of range. With a cargo capacity of 400lbs, a low center of gravity due to its smaller wheel diameter, and an extremely long and wide rear rack, this vehicle is one of the few cargo bikes that could effectively transport two adults while remaining easy to maneuver. This specific listing comes with a full 2-seater passenger setup (rear seat pad, handlebars, and foot pegs), making it a true 2-person commuter and vehicle replacement. Listing can be found here.
Designed by renowned swiss bicycle designer Benno Beanziger, the Benno RemiDemi is a premium mini-utility bike. The RemiDemi is Benno’s flagship vehicle designed upon its “etility” ethos, a term coined by the designer to represent utility built on electric powertrains. It’s modular in nature, and can be configured to hold everything from rear passenger seats to delivery boxes using a series of accessories sold through the brand. The RemiDemi’s uses the Bosch Performance line as its powertrain, which features a 250W mid-drive motor and a 500Wh battery. The mini-utility sector has become quite crowded (i.e. Rad Power’s RadRunner and Juiced Bikes’s Scrambler), but the Benno RemiDemi stands out due to its premium componentry and better ergonomic design. Listing can be found here.
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Observation of the Week
What it’s like to sell a used VanMoof
I recently spoke to a VanMoof bike doctor about what the process of selling my VanMoof would be like, and what information and services they would be able to provide me with to help me sell it.
My first question was to ask for their recommendations on where to sell my ebike. Their response:
“We currently aren’t running a buy-back program. Even if we were, your best bet is Craigslist. The market is just so hot that you can make good money off Craigslist, maybe even more than what you paid for to begin with.”
I then enquired about the types of information and any diagnostics they can provide regarding the state of health of my vehicle. The representative replied that VanMoof collects diagnostics periodically throughout the day, recording information on everything from the battery to the smartmodule and vehicle firmware. He was able to use just the serial/frame number to pull up my latest diagnostics and sent me a few summaries. Below is a snapshot of some of the information he was able to send.
This snapshot is from the battery diagnostics, and lists current charge of the ebike and smartmodule batteries, the number of charge cycles on my main battery, and it’s capacity (referred to as “Health”). Remarkably, the battery capacity is at 99% after ~1100 miles of usage. The charge cycle number was surprisingly high, but makes sense given my bad habit of charging my VanMoof after every use even when I have plenty of range left.
The representative was also able to send me a summary of my bike’s maintenance records, including date of servicing, the problems I brought the bike in for, and the fixes done.
Finally, at the end of the conversation, the bike doctor also mentioned to me that if I do sell my bike, I can transfer ownership of the vehicle through my VanMoof account. I originally assumed this was just to transfer the app, control settings, and phone key to the new owner. However, I was surprised to find out that officially transferring ownership through VanMoof not only transfers the remaining warranty to the new owner, but also transfers the remaining time of the optional Piece of Mind subscriptions (theft protection and maintenance plan) I bought along with the bike.
The ease and speed at which VanMoof’s bike doctors were able to send me diagnostics information was remarkable, and the ability to transfer the warranty and supplemental services to a new owner (so easily at that) is one that almost no other ebike brand or manufacturer offers. The user experience of buying and owning a VanMoof is amongst the best of any ebike brand, and it’s no surprise that the Dutch brand has one of the best user experiences of selling a used bike as well.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for joining, see you next Sunday!
- Puneeth Meruva
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