Bosch launches shared mobility electric scooter service in Berlin


A new shared mobility scheme has been launched in Berlin, Germany, featuring a fleet of electrically powered and connected scooters that can be picked up and dropped off anywhere in the city center.

German technology giant Bosch has launched its new Coup subsidiary, which offers the eScooter sharing service, providing Berlin residents with a new mobility option featuring a simple pricing model. Customers can now find, reserve, and use their nearest eScooter at any time. After reaching their destination, they simply drop off the scooter anywhere in the city center. Coup is the result of an innovation partnership with BCG Digital Ventures, which has assisted with the set-up and operation of the sharing platform, and collaboration with Gogoro, a Taiwanese startup that is supplying 200 of its electrically powered Smartscooters for the project. Large cities are characterized by traffic jams and a shortage of parking spaces, yet they also trigger the desire for individual mobility, so Bosch is already working on solutions for connected parking management, cloud-based fleet management and app-based mobility assistants that support multimodal transport.

Initially, 200 connected eScooters will be available in the Berlin neighborhoods of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. They have a maximum speed of 28mph (45km/h), so that everyone over 21 years of age and holding a car or motorcycle driving license can use them. The storage compartment under the seat fits one helmet and two swappable batteries. In the future, a second helmet will be provided. The eScooters have a range of around 62 miles (100km). Customers will not have to worry about recharging, as Coup will handle this for them. The pricing model is based on a flat-rate fee which charges €3 (US$3.35) for 30 minutes or €20 (US$22) for the whole day. The service is accessed via an accompanying smartphone app, whose intuitive interface makes it simple to find, book, and pay for a scooter. Even opening the helmet box is controlled by smartphone, which is connected to the eScooter via Bluetooth.

“With Coup, we are launching our first purely end-user and concessions business in the mobility sector, and creating a new independent brand,” said Dr Markus Heyn, the member of the Bosch board responsible for the project. “Coup wants to help overcome the urban mobility challenge. The younger generation demands mobility and flexibility; owning a car is no longer seen as necessary. Mobility requirements and demands are changing. We want to shape this change with our own mobility and service solutions.”

Mat Schubert, who is responsible for the Mobility Services project at Bosch, as well as being the CEO of Coup Mobility GmbH, added, “We have jointly developed Coup based on the MVP principle (minimum viable product). We are now quickly entering the market with a basic version to ‘test and learn’ together with our users, in order to further refine our service. In the near future, we will see which urban areas have the highest demand. On this basis, we will then gradually expand our service.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).