The Hamburg-based Hive and E-Floater are gearing up to offer e-scooters as a sharing model pending the Bundesrat’s approval on Friday (May 17, 2019) of an ordinance. The law, passed by the German cabinet on April 3, 2019, permits the use of scooters on German roads. E-scooters are easy to manage, quiet and environment-friendly vehicles. Common sights in U.S. cities, electric-scooters are registered in some European countries and could hit German roads this spring.
E-scooters allowed on private grounds
The German Ministry of Transport’s draft stipulates the use of e-scooters at speeds of up to 12 km/h on footpaths, cycle paths and in pedestrian zones. Faster e-vehicles with more than 12 km/h are to be used on cycle paths and lanes. Wearing a helmet will not yet be compulsory. Critics like the Allgemeine Deutsche Fahrrad-Club e. V. or the German bicycle association fear a risk of accidents on footpaths. E-kick scooters have only been permitted on private premises or company ground in Germany until now.
Hive starts pilot project with DESY
Prior to the nationwide approval, Daimler’s subsidiary MyTaxi is launching a pilot project Tuesday (April 16, 2019) in the Hanseatic city with its e-scooter brand Hive. A total of 100 electric scooters are to be made available to scientists and employees on the campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld in co-operation with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton. Hive’s electrically-powered city scooters are based on technology developed by the Hamburg-based software provider WunderCar Mobility.
The electric pedal-scooters can be borrowed per app, which also displays the charging status. “We check the scooters’ charging status on our backend and charge them. We want to use only environment-friendly electricity to do so,” said Dennis Heinert, Head of Communication at MyTaxi. Hive launched e-scooters as part of a pilot project in Lisbon last December and the company also does business in Paris, Athens, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Vienna follows on April 18, 2019. “All in all, we wish to launch in 20 European cities this year,” Heinert added. The electric vehicles are expected to reach a top speed of up to 20 km/h – with a range of around 50 kilometres in Hamburg.
E-Floater founder to offer last mile solution
Oliver Risse of E-Floater (formerly Floatility has also gained experience on international markets in Asia and Europe. Now an old shipping container in the Port of Hamburg on the MLove-Campus opposite HafenCity has become his creative headquarters. There he is working on his own three-wheeled micro-scooter and app. The glass-fibre reinforced plastic frame allows the user to float by adjusting their weight of their body as the scooter glides through the streets in flowing, undulating lines. The feeling is similar to skiing.
Risse wants to tackle the so-called last mile with the e-kick scooter and complement the mobility offer in Hamburg. The mini vehicles would be particularly suitable for short distances to work and back again. “We will offer free sharing in downtown Hamburg. So the e-kick scooters do not have to be handed in at specific stations after use,” the company said. The batteries can be exchanged and must be charged daily. Electric cargo bikes are be used for this work.
Hamburg-native sets up working group in Brussels
Florian Walberg, founder of Walberg Urban Electrics, began working on e-scooters 20 years ago. In 2011, he founded his own company and since then has been developing, producing and selling the foldable electric pedal scooters from Speicherstadt all over Europe and also initiated a working group in Brussels to work with other manufacturers and distributors on a uniform guideline for electrically powered city scooters. Walberg now employs 18 people and has sold more than 50,000 scooters.
Promoting a turnaround in mobility
E-scooters can play a key role towards achieving a turnaround in mobility. Micro-mobility on the last mile, for instance, is high on agenda of Hamburg’s strategy in the run-up to the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress which the city is hosting in 2021. Mobility as a service is one of the eight fields of action. Low-emission e-mobility contributes to the Hamburg Climate Plan, which was adopted by the senate in 2015. Electro mobility has been earmarked as one of the lead projects. Hamburg and other German cities now await the go-ahead. Meanwhile, Hanover is hosting the first Micromobility Expo focusing on e- pedal scooters, e-bikes and cargo bikes from May 2-4, 2019.