For several years a VanMoof e-bike, starting at around $2,000 and exuding green virtue from every joint of its aluminium frame, has been the ne plus ultra of personal urban transport. Last month the company went bust. Most of its stores have closed, and riders from Amsterdam to Hell’s Kitchen are fretting about where they’ll get spares and repairs when their bikes malfunction, which reportedly happens more often than you’d hope given the price. Hopes of a rescue have been raised this week by an offer for the company from Micromobility.com, an e-transport platform that says it runs ride-sharing schemes in 40 cities and food delivery operations from Milan to LA. There’s a problem, though. Micromobility.com is quoted on Nasdaq but its share price recently dropped below $0.01 and Quartz quotes the CEO of a separate concern called Micromobility Industries who says his namesake is talking up its bid for VanMoof to preserve a line of credit from its investors without which it would go to the wall. Which would be a shame. VanMoof machines are stylish and fast and they incorporate their batteries within their frame tubes, which deters thieves. The world needs them.
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