Using e-bikes with the Whim app

By Whim • April 29, 2021

E-bikes have experienced a genuine boom in recent years. In terms of sales figures, e-leisure and trekking bikes have already overtaken non-electronic leisure and trekking bikes in 2018 – and the end of this e-trend is far from in sight. With Whim, the all-in-one mobility app, you can easily rent an e-bike from Swiss provider BOND. These e-bikes are up to 45 km/h fast and therefore allow you to ride across Zurich with minimal effort.

In this article, we’ll tell you what an e-velo or e-bike is, how to book an e-velo via the Whim app, how much an e-velo ride costs, which service providers are currently available on the Whim app, and how to get around safely and in compliance with the rules.

What is an e-velo or e-bike and what is the difference to an s-pedelec?

E-velo, e-bike, pedelec (pedal electric cycle). There are many different names for this trendy mode of transportation, but it always means one thing: a bicycle with an electric motor. It might be noteworthy though that the bike does not drive itself, but only supports the pedaling power of the rider. 

In Switzerland, e-bikes are considered light motorcycles, are equipped with a maximum of a 500-watt motor, are allowed to travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h, and are treated the same as bicycles in road traffic. Everyone over 16 is allowed to ride an e-velo without a driver’s license.

In contrast to the pedelecs are the s-pedelecs, i.e. speed pedelecs: These are no longer considered bicycles, but are already classified as mopeds with a motor capacity of up to 1000 watts and travel at speeds of up to 45 km/h. Like the e-velos of our bike-sharing partner BOND, which, strictly speaking, are already considered s-pedelecs. To ride an S-pedelec, you need at least a class AM driver’s license (light motorcycle).

What is bike sharing?

Bike sharing or bike rental systems give registered residents of communities and cities access to public bikes. 

Basically, bike sharing is divided into two types:

  • Station-based
  • Free-floating (stationless)

In station-based bike sharing, bikes are available to the public at transportation hubs, such as train stations, metro stations, and other key locations in the city. Typically, bicycles can be rented at one station and returned at another station. An example of station-based bike rental in Switzerland is PubliBike, which is available in Bern (Velo Bern), Fribourg, La Côte, Lausanne-Morges, Lugano-Malcantone, Sion, Sierre and Zurich (Züri Velo).

Free-floating bike sharing, on the other hand, allows users to rent bikes at any location. The available bikes are displayed via app using GPS, unlocked and can be parked again after use as desired, but in accordance with the rules. This type of bike sharing also includes BOND, the e-bike provider in the Whim app, whose e-bikes are currently available in Zurich.

Rent bikes with the Whim app

Bike provider at Whim

In the Whim app, you’ll find e-bikes from Swiss provider BOND Mobility. As the world’s first stationless e-bike sharing provider, BOND Mobility develops Swiss-designed premium e-pedelecs that reach up to 45 km/h. The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Zurich.

Prices

Prices at BOND consist of an activation fee and a per-kilometer ride fee:

  • Activation fee: CHF 1
  • Fee per kilometer: CHF 0.89

Cities and zones

E-velos from BOND are currently available in Zurich. You can only park the e-bike within the business area in a publicly accessible area. In the Whim app you can see if you are outside the BOND business area and if you have to move the bike somewhere else.

How does bikesharing with Whim work?

When you rent a BOND e-bike with Whim for the first time, you have to verify yourself once (KYC process). In the verification process, your driver’s license will be checked for validity based on a selfie of you. Please note that in exceptional cases this process can take up to 2 working days. Once the verification is complete, you will be notified via push notification.

As soon as you are verified, nothing stands in the way of your adventures with e-bikes from BOND!

Rent an e-bike from BOND

  1. Select e-bikes in the home view in the Whim app
  2. You will now see the available bikes on the map, as well as
    1. the battery % level of the e-bikes
    2. and the business area
  3. Select a bike to see more details, such as distance from your location, battery % level, price, picture of the bike, bike ID number, as well as detailed info on how to use it (safety, return instructions, prices, help section)
  4. Select unlocking of the e-bike and follow safety instructions
  5. Confirm the payment and accept the terms and conditions by confirming the payment
  6. The e-bike will be unlocked. Once you have unlocked the bike
    1. Take the helmet out of the basket and put it on
    2. Adjust the saddle with the handle below the seat
  7. And you are ready to ride!

End the ride with the e-bike

  1. Park the e-bike within the BOND business area and in a publicly accessible area (do not block sidewalks, public transportation stops, driveways or building entrances). You can only end your booking if the e-bike is within the business area marked on the map in the app.
  2. Finish the booking through the app. Follow the instructions for parking and returning the helmet.
  3. Put the helmet back in the basket, close the basket lid.
  4. View the summary of your ride: distance, duration, total price, and start and destination addresses
  5. The receipt will be sent by email and can also be found under “My Rides” in the app.

Important things to consider

Safety rules

Your safety and the safety of others always comes first. To ensure that you ride your e-bike or S-pedelec safely, please adhere to the following rules:

  • By law you are required to wear a helmet, as BOND e-bikes travel at speeds of up to 45 km/h.
  • Always follow the local traffic rules.
  • Riding on the highway is prohibited, as the e-velo does not reach the required minimum speed.
  • You can see the speed, battery level and range on the bike’s screen.
  • Be attentive and ride sensibly: watch out for other vehicles, don’t ride in blind spots, always be focused and pay attention to your surroundings, traffic and passers-by.
  • Last but not least: Don’t drink and ride!

If you want to be on the safe side and be as well equipped, visible and protected as possible on the road with an e-bike, you can find all clothing, accessories and protectors at Veloplus, the No. 1 for bike accessories in Switzerland, among others.

Age limit

To use BOND e-bikes you must be at least 18 years old.

Traffic rules

Swiss legislation requires at least a class AM driving license (light motorcycle). A valid driving license (car or motorcycle) from abroad also meets the minimum requirements to ride a BOND e-bike.

Ready to ride a BOND S-Pedelec through Zurich? Then go for it! Get the Whim App now and enjoy e-bike rides or use one of our other mobility partners, like e-scooters from TIER and VOI as well as public transport with SBB, TPF, etc. Download Whim now and enjoy the freedom of mobility.

Header image (c) BOND