VanMoof makes some of the most stylish stealth ebikes around — we loved the S3 model in our review. But one of the most common complaints levied at the ebikes is that their battery is not user-removable.
This makes for two big particularly big annoyances. For one, you can’t leave the bike in a garage or storage room and charge the battery at home. For another, you can’t quickly swap the battery with an extra one for longer rides, should you decide to get out of town for a while or simply take an extra-long route.
VanMoof’s new $348 PowerBanks offer respite for both of these problems. The battery pack sits neatly in your bike frame’s triangle, adding an extra 378 Wh to the bike’s built-in 504 Wh battery for a total of 882 Wh — significantly larger than what you’ll find in most ebikes (let alone in stealthier designs like the Vanmoof). It weighs in at 6.2 lb (2.8kg).
VanMoof claims the battery pack provides an extra 28 – 62 miles (45 – 100 km) over the bikes’ initial 37 – 93 mile (60-150 km) range. Do the math and that means the company’s bikes now claim to go 65 miles in full power mode, and as far as a whopping 155 miles on a charge in the low-power economy mode.
That’s close to the range of the average electric vehicle — and you can still pedal when the battery runs out.
While $348 isn’t cheap, I’d say it’s at least reasonably priced in the world extra ebike batteries (let’s just say I’ve spent way more than that to get a second battery of similar capacity before). Granted, there are also ebikes that come with more battery capacity by default, like the Juiced CrossCurrent X, but that’s a heavier, less stealthy ebike.
To me, this is a gamechanger for Vanmoof’s bikes. As a heavier cyclist who likes to go on longer rides, I frequently get far less than a manufacturer’s claimed range — even when using low levels of pedal assist. Having the option to add a second battery gives me some peace of mind.
For those of us with range anxiety, the PowerBank could be the difference between choosing the VanMoof or opting for something else. And of course, you could always just buy a second power bank to increase the bike’s range even further; it’s a route I wish more companies would take.
The VanMoof PowerBank is available to order today and begins shipping in June.