A lot of modern e-bike startups market their products with urban mobility, sustainability, and environmental awareness in mind. However, I’m willing to bet that a lot of these companies leave a lot to be desired when it comes to sustainability. Indeed, a lot of e-bikes, particularly those mass-produced in China, don’t exactly benefit the environment in any way, shape, or form.
A glaring issue facing the e-mobility world is waste—spent batteries, components, and bikes as a whole. Interestingly, a Belgian bike specialist by the name of Cowboy has set up a little initiative to tackle the e-bike waste problem in its own little way. In what it’s calling the Circular line of bikes, Cowboy takes second-hand machines, refurbishes them to a high standard, and sells them to e-bike riders looking for a more affordable and practical way to move around. The fact that the bikes are refurbished units is just the icing on the cake.
In an article published by Move Electric, Cowboy’s co-founder Adrien Roose explained that the initiative effectively extends the bike’s service life, while at the same time providing the piece of mind an otherwise brand-new model would. “By giving our bikes a ‘second spin’ we continue to push our sustainability efforts forward by extending the life of each bike, while making our unique connected ride accessible to even more people.” Indeed, the company has already procured more than 700 bikes as part of its Circular model range, with stocks depleting as we speak. What’s even better is that Cowboy’s throwing in a two-year warranty on the machines.
Thanks to Cowboy’s Circular model range, the company has been able to improve its social and environmental status, and has even garnered B Corp status. What this means is that the company has been certified by non-profit organization B Lab, which analyzes companies’ social and environmental performance. Right from the get-go, Cowboy designed its bikes with recyclability in mind, as such it’s finding it pretty straightforward to refurbish used bikes for the Circular model range.
Although the company doesn’t go into detail as to how they refurbish the bikes, we can assume that they do a pretty extensive job, given that they offer a two-year warranty. A quick trip to their website reveals that the company focuses on three primary models for the Circular model range—the C3, C4, and C4 ST. Prices start at 1,890 Euros, or around $1,984 USD, for a refurbished C3 model. Now, this is certainly pricier than your run-of-the-mill China-made e-bike, but at least you know Cowboy as a company stands for something much bigger than itself.
Sources: Cowboy, Move Electric