Electric scooter-sharing scheme gets rolling in Paris
The French capital is gearing up for the introduction of an e-scooter rental plan that will make navigating its crowded streets a little easier and a little greener. A fleet of 600 Gogoro scooters in stations across central Paris will be available for rent to subscribed users, offering accessible zero-emission personal transportation.
Last August in Berlin, Coup (under the umbrella of the Bosch Group of companies) launched a sharing service that allows its users to rent electric scooters through a time-based pricing scheme. Using a fleet of Gogoro's Smartscooters, Coup put to good use the Taiwanese company's swappable battery strategy, with charging stations at every depot offering ready-to-use, fully charged scooters at any time.
Today Bosch announced that Coup is expanding to Paris this summer, where a total of 600 Gogoro Smartscooters will become available for rent. Tuned for a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), the electric scooters are classified as mopeds according to European legislation, which state that the required age to hop onboard is just 14. It is unclear, however, whether the Gogoro scheme will enforce stricter age limits than this.
After a free subscription to the service, all it takes is to locate the nearest rental station via Coup's dedicated smartphone app, book a ride and scoot off. Pricing is set at €4 (US$4.5) per half-hour, after which the charge is €1 ($1.1) for every ten minutes. In Berlin's case, Coup also offers daily schemes, charging €20 for use from 7 am to 7 pm, and €10 for the rest of the day, so Parisians should probably expect similar plans to become available.
Every scooter comes with two fully charged Gogoro batteries, a helmet and a hygiene head-cap in the underseat storage, as well as an insurance plan. The customer only needs an Android smartphone (no official word on an iOS version), which must be equipped with Bluetooth in order to connect with the Smartscooter's functions; no keys are needed.
Ever since its launch, Gogoro has detailed plans to expand beyond Taiwan, but until now it hasn't broken into most Western countries. Its dependence on a specific type of charging infrastructure makes it costly to develop the required network of battery charging and swapping depots.
On the other hand, Gogoro's tech fits conveniently into a rental scheme like this, which delivers for both convenience for the commuter and opportunities for the company.