This fancy Scandinavian electric bike just launched in the US for $109… per month

Swedish mobility company Vässla has become well known over several years for its electric scooters and mopeds, but last year it joined the e-bike party when it launched a highly acclaimed electric bike known as the Vässla Pedal. Now the company has brought that model to the US with a combination of direct purchase and subscription plans.

The Vässla Pedal is available as a direct-to-consumer electric bike, meaning you can hop on the company’s website, click a few buttons, wave your credit card, and have a shiny new US $2,690 Scandinavian e-bike show up at your front door.

But perhaps even more interestingly, the company has embraced a subscription model as well. For as little as $109 per month, you can be rolling around on your own Vässla Pedal.

The subscription is only available in New York City, where Vässla set up its US headquarters, but founder and CEO Rickard Bröms thinks that it’s a perfect city to start:

The average speed for cars in NYC is 7.5 mph, which is half the speed of e-bikes and slower than the horse and carriage we used 200 years ag. Replacing cars, ride shares and taxis with an e-bike for short urban trips is by far the easiest way to improve CO2 emissions and noise-pollution in cities.

Anyone interested in a Scandinavian e-bike but who doesn’t call themselves a New Yorker can still enjoy getting a Vässla Pedal the old-fashioned way.

Vässla pedal

The bike’s design is both minimalist and striking, lacking exposed wires or buttons and using a single frame tube instead of a conventional front triangle.

A 250W nominal and 45 Nm rear hub motor sheds gears in exchange for a Gates carbon belt drive system. The single-speed operation won’t be ideal for ultra-hilly areas, but should work great in relatively flat cities. Modest hills can still be conquered relatively easy thanks to the electric assist.

While the EU version of the Vässla Pedal came with a 25 km/h (15 mph) top speed, the US version gets a speed boost to max out the Class 1 e-bike limit of 20 mph (32 km/h).

The 24″ wheels and unisex frame were designed to be as accessible as possible, while the lightweight setup at just 42 lb. (19 kg) makes the bike easier to lug around or carry up the stairs into an apartment. And in case you’re worried that someone will try to make off with such a fancy-looking bike, a built-in GPS tracker will keep constant tabs on the bike’s location.

“With the Pedal we have created a new type of electric bicycle,” says designer Christian Zanzotti. “The goal was to create a modern masterpiece with a high level of performance, and more inclusive than any bike on the market. The Pedal stands for the new urban era, and is an amazing product that I am very proud of.”

Vässla

The Vässla Pedal’s 5-pound (2.3 kg) removable battery offers up to 62 miles (100 km) of range on pedal assist, though higher power levels will cut into that range figure.

The bike includes a torque sensor for a more intuitive and refined pedaling experience. Hydraulic disc brakes offer strong stopping power as well as a low-maintenance solution.

Commuters will be happy to see that integrated LED lights and included fenders are both standard features.

Between the lack of gears, mechanical brakes, or a chain, there’s almost nothing to maintain other than the tires and the brake pads. Depending on how much you ride, that might mean performing maintenance just once or twice a year. Though with the subscription model, even that gets taken care of for you.

Electrek’s Take

I like the bike, but I can already tell you that reactions will be mixed. Those that understand what goes into European designed e-bikes with higher-quality parts and a focus on daily usability will see the value. Americans that for some reason think an e-bike’s price should be solely determined by its motor power will be disappointed.

For true commuters though, this seems like a good quality, nearly maintenance-free electric bike. And that subscription model is seriously enticing. Rarely can you get such a nice e-bike for barely more than a Benjamin per month. Of course you’ve got to live in NYC to enjoy that benefit, but it doesn’t seem like Vässla is going to be able to saturate that massive market too quickly.

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