Particularly congested and seeking solutions to improve the flow of traffic, Brussels is increasingly opening up to the trend for shared vehicles. Cambio, launched in 2003, was the precursor to this model. Since then, both the offering and users have increased significantly. Accessible via a simple smartphone and operating on a self-service basis, vehicles no longer even need to be returned to the place they were picked up from. But in the new world of carsharing 2.0, one type of “passe-partout” vehicle was missing.
Scooty launched this autumn, was therefore the Belgian capital’s first electric scooter hire platform. The Belgian start-up, which has just joined forces with Europcar, currently offers 25 scooters (to be increased to about 50 next spring) and intends to have 700 scooters on Brussels’ streets by 2018.
In practical terms, users have to register first via the Scooty application (App Store & Google play). Supply a photocopy of their driving license (B is sufficient) and a photo. The application then helps to locate the nearest vehicle. They can then make a reservation and have 15 minutes to collect it. Once the vehicle is reached, no key is required, the scooter is started using a smartphone code.
Two helmets are provided. Then all you have to do is hop on and get weaving. With no guilty conscience… because the scooter has no exhaust pipe. The batteries provide 100km autonomy and are replaced as soon as the charge falls below 10%. As regards running costs, they come to 25 cents/minute (including insurance). Which is an average of €5 for a 20-minute trip. Another point: Scooty operates on a free floating basis. Users do not have to return the scooters from where they picked them up, but can leave them where they like within a large predetermined area.
The Scooty start-up, for the time being, is forward looking: “We are still at the test phase so the area in which the vehicles must be left is still small, explains one of its founders, 27-year-old Jan-Albrecht Jost. At the moment we are operating in the European district, the streets around Central, South and North stations, Etterbeek, Ixelles and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. However, you can go wherever you like except through tunnels because the scooters do not go faster than 45km/h.” The only limitation to smart mobility.