- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Villo electric bike service ready to launch
Brussels' cycle-sharing scheme Villo is set to launch its new electric bike service from this Friday.
Instead of adding new bikes to the fleet, about a third of Villo's existing bikes have been upgraded to become "electric compatible" - meaning they can either be used with a battery or without.
The bike will continue to weigh about 25kg and have seven gears. Electrical assistance will only be available to those with an annual subscription and users can only sign up via the mobile app.
To upgrade to the electric service, subscribers will have to pay €4.15 per month (€50 per year). They will then receive their own portable rechargeable battery, which can be attached to the bike of their choosing.
The electric bike option was announced last year, with plans for a summer 2019 launch, although it has been postponed several times since.
Villo is operated by outdoor advertising giant JC Decaux, in return for the right to place advertising billboards on the city's streets.
In return for upgrading the Villo service to include electric bikes, the advertising firm was granted permission to replace a third of its conventional billboards with LED ad panels.