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A coronavirus first? Check out this e-bike share’s self-cleaning handlebars

Wheels, a popular electric bicycle-style e-scooter sharing platform announced last week that it was pulling its vehicles from service due to the coronavirus crisis sweeping the country. Now Wheels is back with a creative solution to keeping their shared vehicles safe and sanitized.

Wheels has just announced a partnership with the company NanoSeptic, which developed a a self-cleaning surface innovation.

The NanoSeptic surface contains mineral nanocrystals that receive energy from any visible light to create a “powerful and toxin-free oxidation reaction that continuously breaks down any organic contaminants at the microscopic level without the use of poisons, traditional heavy metals or dangerous chemicals.”

Yea, it sounds a bit out there. But NanoSeptic swears it works better than bleach at disinfecting surfaces. If so, that would make it the perfect material to coat shared surfaces like doorknobs, subway grab handles and in this case, bike handlebars.

Wheels’ shared bikes are actually seated electric scooters, but they feature very bike-like handlebars. Those vehicles are now getting NanoSeptic-coated handlebars and brake levers, which are intended to keep the surfaces coronavirus-free.

As explained by Wheels in a statement provided to Electrek:

Before we temporarily paused our regular service, we were taking all the appropriate actions to keep our bikes clean. Among other things, we were frequently and thoroughly cleaning our bikes with disinfectant and wiping them down with a microfiber towel.

But with shared scooters and bikes being ridden by many different people every day and no operator able to manually clean each device prior to every ride, we believed a more comprehensive solution was needed. To that end, Wheels is excited to announce a partnership with NanoSeptic, the leader in self-cleaning surfaces, on a first-of-its-kind offering in the shared transportation space.

Having self-cleaning handlebars and brake levers is obviously critical now, and we believe it will remain that way going forward.

Wheels is also announcing a pair of new features to help aid riders during the coronavirus crisis. With so many people remaining indoors, home delivery requests for food and other necessities have skyrocketed, resulting in a shortage of delivery riders. Wheels has created a new weekly pricing plan to enable delivery workers to affordably rent Wheels’ e-bikes for $29.99 per week or $89.99 per month.

Wheels is also offering a similar pricing structure for consumers who are looking for a way to get out of packed buses and subways or to practice social distancing while on the move.

Both options include contactless delivery to the rider and unlimited rides for the duration of the subscription. For those that would like an e-bike for the next few weeks or months, but don’t want to shell out $1,000+ for a new e-bike, this might be a good option for a temporary set of wheels. Or, err… Wheels.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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