Andre Wehner, Chief Digital Officer at ŠKODA AUTO, emphasised, “Digitalisation, connectivity and new mobility services are some of the key pillars of ŠKODA’s 2025 Strategy. Our ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab innovation centre is playing a key role in our journey from a car manufacturer to the ‘Simply Clever company for the best mobility solutions’. It is here that we develop brand-new mobility solutions for our customers that make everyday life easier and more enjoyable. The flexible and environmentally friendly e-scooter sharing service, BeRider, is an excellent example of this. In collaboration with the existing public transport system, the aim is to allow citizens, commuters and tourists to reach their destinations even quicker and more conveniently.”
Jarmila Plachá, Head of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab added, “By offering BeRider, we are continuing to promote an intelligent ecosystem for sustainable micromobility in collaboration with the capital, Prague. In addition, we will continue to develop and offer numerous other services in 2020, such as the private peer-to-peer car sharing service, HoppyGo, and the Uniqway car sharing service for students – developed together with schools and students. We are integrating all of these services into the Citymove app, which takes public transport into consideration when suggesting routes. Our vision is to offer all of these services in a Simply Clever way by providing customers with a centralised method of booking and paying for them.”
On 1 March, BeRider will hit the ground running in the Czech capital and the service will be more appealing and versatile than ever following the winter break. Over the next few months, the service’s fleet will grow from 150 to a total of 700 e-scooters and the scooters are now available over a larger area of the city of Prague. What’s more, thanks to the new packages, users can save up to 33 per cent. BeRider is breaking new ground with regards to customer service too, by enabling users to report any problems directly via the app. The new chatbot on the company’s Facebook page helps to answer any questions and the BeRider blog now provides news.
Two lithium-ion batteries power the e-scooters, and LED headlights as well as front and rear brake discs enable users to make headway safely and efficiently in urban traffic. They boast powerful acceleration and can reach a top speed of 66 km/h. With a range of up to 70 km, they are ideal for short to mid-range distances. The remaining range is shown on their display and the lockable top case contains two helmets.
The agile electric scooters offer many advantages for everyday urban life and often take users to their destination quicker than a car or another mode of transport. What’s more, e-scooter riders can enjoy the city from a completely new perspective. Bookings are made via a smartphone using the BeRider app, which is available free of charge for iOS and Android. Following registration, customers can then see available e-scooters in the app and reserve as well as lock or unlock them without keys. Their session ends after a brief confirmation via the app. BeRider can now also be used with the help of the free Citymove app, which was developed by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab too. Payment is made via credit card and is calculated based on how long the scooter has been used (CZK 5.00 – approx. EUR 0.19 – per minute). Customers also benefit from minute packages, which reduce the fees to CZK 3.30 (EUR 0.12) per minute, till end of February to CZK 2.75 (EUR 0.10). A category B or A1 motorcycle licence is required to ride the electric scooters.
Success in figures: BeRider took 23,000 bookings in its three-month pilot phase
The service developed by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab began its pilot phase in September 2019 and was the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. BeRider became a success story in no time: by the end of its pilot phase in December 2019, it had recorded 23,000 bookings. During this time, the longest distance covered in one session was around 50 km and the most active user completed 151 trips. The record for the longest total distance was set by a loyal customer who, following their registration in 2019, travelled around 1,000 km. On average, the e-scooters covered 5.9 km around Prague per booking. Customers used the zero-emission two-wheelers primarily for commuting to work and for getting around in their free time.
The official launch of the e-scooter sharing service sees ŠKODA AUTO position itself even more as a provider of integral mobility services. And, as always, the brand places the greatest importance on customers and reducing its environmental impact. Connected mobility, electromobility and well-thought-out solutions for the first and last mile have an essential role in achieving this goal.