International Bike Group (IBG), the parent company of bicycle retailers Fietsenwinkel.nl (Benelux region) and Hellorider (Scandinavia), has announced a new partnership with LeasePlan Nederland. The two companies will be supplying e-bikes to customers of LeasePlan, the largest vehicle leasing company in the Netherlands. IBG will be in charge of all service operations and manage the online portal, ranging from bicycle selection, delivery, insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance to fleet management software. The new partners have signed the contract on an exclusive basis.
Retail sales of e-bikes are expected to surge in the near future, ahead of the introduction of the new tax-friendly Bike to Work Scheme on 1 January 2020. This will be facilitated mainly by employers offering their employees e-bikes as part of a leasing plan or a transport budget they are free to spend as they see fit, in some cases combined with a leased company car. This is set to raise the profile of e-bikes as a commuting alternative to cars and public transport. LeasePlan is the first car leasing company in the Netherlands to invest in e-bikes on this scale.
Full-service leasing solution
IBG will provide LeasePlan with its own asset management software, its own nationwide retail network (including experience stores and test centres operated by Fietsenwinkel.nl), around 250 bicycle repair locations across the Netherlands, roadside assistance, a unique online platform offering more than 20,000 bikes, and integrated fleet management software for its customers.
IBG CEO Davy Louwers expects his company – mainly thanks to the full-service leasing solution marketed under the Hellorider label – to acquire a share of around 20% of the corporate e-bike market next year, the equivalent of around 30,000 additional e-bikes.
The leasing solution LeasePlan offers its customers comprises a full selection of bicycles (covering e-bikes, electric cargo bikes and other models ranging in price from roughly €1,100 to €9,500), including brands such as Cortina, Brinckers, Cube and Stromer; delivery of the bike to a Fietsenwinkel.nl store or the customer’s home or workplace; insurance; maintenance; roadside assistance tailored to users’ needs, in association with automobile association ANWB; software for using the LeasePlan customer portal, and software for managing the bike and making service arrangements.
Erik Henstra, Managing Director of LeasePlan: “Our company is committed to providing sustainable transport options, and by adding e-bikes to our range we are taking this one step further. We believe that integrated transport packages, including e-bikes, are an appealing alternative for many commuters. We have found that those who live closer to work are more willing to switch to e-bikes for their daily commute. The great thing about leasing a corporate e-bike is that you avoid the relatively high purchase price and maintenance costs. You can use the bike for both professional and personal purposes and there’s no need to keep a record of your mileage.”
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Management, backed by the new favourable tax scheme, released a policy document titled Fietsbrief 2017, which urges businesses to implement measures to take workers off the country’s congested roads and motorways over the long term by promoting the use of bicycles. The Ministry itself will also be investing around €100 million in new infrastructure (cycle lanes and charging facilities) over the next two years.
International Bike Group (which operates bicycle retailers Fietsenwinkel.nl and Hellorider) was acquired by investment company NPM Capital (an SHV Holdings company) in 2012.
Erik Henstra (Managing Director of LeasePlan Nederland, pictured on the left) and Davy Louwers (CEO of International Bike Group, pictured on the right) signed an agreement on 5 September 2019 in the showroom of Fietsenwinkel.nl in Amsterdam with the objective of fully opening up the market for corporate e-bike leasing.