The key behind BOND’s partnership with ETH Zürich


BOND Mobility and ETH Zürich joined forces in January 2017 to carry out a joint research project. Today, this collaboration is a fruitful partnership between BOND and ETH Zürich, the #6 of the top global universities.

Together, BOND and ETH developed charging stations for BOND e-bikes and commissioned them in 2018, rolling them out at so-called «Mobility Hubs» in Zürich.

Our users love the thought-through concept: last year alone, 23% of all batteries were charged by riders at our Mobility Hubs. Including the customer in the operations lowers all costs and this use-cost-sharing model is a novelty within the industry.

Today, this success story takes the next step with a special subscription for over 30.000 students and employees. Thus, we met with Sarah Springman, Rector at ETH Zürich, for a chat. She discussed the partnership, the shared vision, and her connection to BOND Mobility.

Why do you like BOND Mobility?

Cycling in general is a fantastic way to get around the city notwithstanding the hills and the tramlines! Normally, I commute by bike and really love to do so, as it’s not only a healthy and fast solution, but also very sustainable. BOND Mobility creates more use cases to include (e)-bikes in our everyday life and thus contributes to even more livable communities.

As a former professional triathlete, is it a sin to use an electric bike?

No. Honestly, I have not used an e-bike until today, but still like to see them on the street, especially since I always feel good when overtaking one on my speed bike! And that happens from time to time... E-bikes enable many people to start cycling, to do it without getting into a sweaty lather, to commute efficiently by bike from further afield and to cycle effectively up steep hills - so I think that’s great!


How do ETH Zürich and BOND Mobility work together?

We are now offering a special package for all members of ETH, which allows people to use BOND Mobility at even more economic prices.

This new offer is part of our partnership, which includes research with colleagues and students at our Institute for Transport Planning and Systems. ETH Students also created the sophisticated prototypes of the BOND Mobility Hubs at the Student Project House. These have been in use for several years already.

There are quite some touchpoints between a Zürich based start-up and ETH Zürich. Should such partnerships be the new normal? How can your students benefit from connections to the start-up scene?

Yes, indeed. We like to have productive collaborations with start-ups that offer many options for ETH students. This also allows them to improve their entrepreneurial skillset.

The Student Project House provides the opportunity to transform knowledge into amazing projects that solve real-world problems. These often lead to new spin-offs.

The student-led initiative “ETH Entrepreneurs Club” also runs exciting programmes with start-ups. It supports fellow students in founding their own companies, too.

Last but not least, our “Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab (IeLab)” is our in-house accelerator for talented students with great ideas. We support bright minds with coaching, financial assistance and excellent connections to industry partners like BOND Mobility.

How can BOND Mobility help ETH Zürich to be more sustainable and support a Covid-free Campus?

Using BOND e-bikes is simply the fastest way to commute between our Campus on the Hönggerberg and “ETH Zentrum” in the city centre.

We are also very happy to host Mobility Hubs at both locations, where users can plug in the e-bikes and get rewards for their next ride, while providing powerful connections between different locations.

E-bikes can also grant relief to otherwise cramped buses. This definitely makes our teaching and campus life more resilient against COVID-19. Maybe I will have to take out a subscription and try it out sometime!


About Sarah Springman:

Sarah Springman, CBE, FREng is a British triathlete, civil engineer, and academic. She graduated in England and spent most of her recent career in Switzerland. She is currently the Rector of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich; which is mainly known as ETH Zürich.