Review of per minute rental of electric scooters in Moscow, summer 2018
I stand, holding the steering wheel, and do not move - but city asphalt floats beneath me, and the warm summer wind blows my face. With unaccustomed to me a little scary. I stare at the display: 18 km / h. If I were driving a car, it would be turtle speed. And now I nervously try to embrace everything at once - parked cars, pedestrians crossing the road, frisky cyclists, traffic lights. I'm riding an electric scooter.
As a vehicle for scooters, I never considered. From childhood I rode a bicycle, and this movement - sat on one leg and pushed off - is very uncomfortable and unnatural for me. In my mind, scooters have always been associated with children's entertainment. The more my culture shock was when I, in 2000, in London, saw on the street an amazing (for me) sight. An elderly, imposing man, with gray hair, in a strict suit and with a briefcase in his hand, was driving along a scooter on the sidewalk. Cognitive dissonance helped to remember this sight for life.
For those who have no time to read
The electric scooter is cool, but so far in Moscow they are mostly inside the Garden Ring.
YouDrive lite - 5 rub / min. Delisamokat - 250 p / h, 1000 p / day, 3000 p / week.
At full charge you can drive 10-20 km, depending on the weight and landscape.
The history of scooters: how long have we been kicking the ground
Scooters appeared at the turn of the XVII - XVIII centuries, and usually served as simple to manufacture toys for children. In the 20th century, a homemade scooter was usually a board with roller skates attached to it and some kind of handle that could be held, for example, from an old wooden box. Such a rough design, however, very pleased the children, especially with its loud sound when moving, making the unit look like a “real machine”. By the middle of the century scooters acquired a more or less modern look.
German girls on scooters, 1948
Various improvements were made to the design of scooters, from pneumatic tires to shock absorbers.
In the 90s in Finland came up with a new type of scooter - kickbike. It is characterized by a very large, bicycle-sized front wheel, which allows it to develop perceptibly greater speed. On such scooters even competitions are held:
In general, the principle of riding a scooter remained unchanged, except for rare attempts to do something unique - for example, Honda Kick 'n Go scooter from 1974, which was set in motion by pressing the lever:
But humanity naturally, on any invented vehicle tends to put the motor.
Motorized scooters appeared at the beginning of the 20th century in the United States — from 1915 to 1921, the Autoped Company worked in New York, producing scooters equipped with an internal combustion engine that rotated the front wheel.
1919 Autoped Ever Ready
He had wheels in 10 ", and this unit was controlled using the steering wheel and steering column knobs. Tilting the column forward turned on the clutch, the lever on the knobs controlled the gas, and tilting the column back turned off the clutch and activated the brakes. The engine was air-driven cooling, 4-stroke, with a volume of 155 cubic meters. In wartime, this car proved to be very efficient in terms of fuel consumption, but it was not widely used.
There are also modern versions of scooters with an internal combustion engine - for example, the Go-Ped GTR Roadster , rear wheel olyayuschim speeds up to 35 km / h and go to a full tank of 50 km (fuel consumption - about 2.6 liters per 100 km).
Go-Ped GTR Roadster
But with the beginning of the XXI century, the increase in the specific capacity of lithium-ion batteries and the improvement of the characteristics of electric motors launched a boom of electric vehicles.
The Age of Electricity
Electric scooters vary in shape and size, as well as a set of functions. Pneumatic or solid wheels, folding models, scooters with a seat, with large and small wheels, with disc and electric brakes, with and without heat recovery - you can find dozens of models on the market. Combines their relatively large weight (batteries, motor) and cost. The children's electric scooter can be bought for 5000 r, and the cost of more or less decent models capable of carrying an adult person starts from 15,000 and goes somewhere to infinity.
Although a regular, not electric scooter is much lighter and more mobile than a bicycle, even a person who has never got up on it can be seen, the same distance is harder on a scooter than on a bicycle. For children, the scooter is ideal - firstly, they just need to be weary, secondly, it’s not so high from a scooter, thirdly, they practically don’t need to learn to ride, and fourthly, the kid will cope with it removal and entry back home.
Everything is clear with a bicycle - someone loves to ride it (I adore), someone does not, but almost everyone has tried it, and made up his opinion. How much better or worse an electric scooter as a means of transportation around the city is difficult to say, because just for fun, very few people are willing to spend a sizeable amount of money on an electric scooter, so that later, having been disappointed in it, throw it into the storeroom. More precisely, it was difficult to say, until recently.
Urbanization and transportation
The urbanization of the modern world occurs with acceleration - just like the expansion of the Universe. More than half the population of the entire planet already lives in cities. Millions of cities have long surprised no one, and the growing conglomeration in China will soon lead to the appearance of one hundred million people . And in all cities the problem of transport is more or less acute.
No city can cope with the fact that all residents will drive their own cars - it is clear even to Americans, with their centenary car cult and underdeveloped public transport. Cities will not suffocate in traffic jams, only with good public transport. However, you will not make a stop at each house, and you will not put every resident on a bicycle (although the Dutch are trying). In a big city, not everyone will get to work from home, let alone daily travels from the suburbs to the center.
The optimal, apparently, option for the city is the use of a developed system of public transport routes in combination with any means of transportation of the “last mile”, on which you can get from the metro stop to work or another travel destination.
Bike - transport is good, but with its own specifics. It's not very convenient to ride it in a business suit or skirt, and until you reach your destination, you sweat. Nevertheless, in small cities with a temperate climate, it is possible, and probably even needs to promote cycling culture - the air is cleaner, the people are healthier, and there is more space. Began to reach this and in some cities of Russia.
Share and ride
Instead of each citizen buying his bike, you can implement a bike sharing system, or bike sharing. Hourly or minute payment; when needed - took, used - left. Such systems have been attempted to be introduced in those countries and cities where, in principle, the propaganda of cycling has been carried out for quite some time. The leader in this business, naturally, is Western Europe. The first documented case of bike sharing was registered in Amsterdam (well, where else?) In 1965. The “Provo” counter-cultural youth movement (from the word “provocation”) acquired fifty bicycles, painted them white and spread them across Amsterdam without any locks, so that everyone could use them.
In the mid-90s, the first commercial bicycle sharing systems began to appear, the first of which opened in 1995 in Copenhagen. Getting started quickly picked up in many parts of the world, and in some places brought to the point of absurdity. Attempts to create bike sharing without reference to the points of issue of bicycles in some cities of China, for example, led to the cluttering of streets and the appearance of cemeteries of broken bicycles.
But, as was already said, the bike - the transport for the last mile is not quite perfect. In search of the best option in 2017, several companies decided to test the system of sharing electric scooters. This, oddly enough, turned out to be companies from the USA: Bird , Jump Bikes , LimeBike and Spin . The companies, not having agreed with the local authorities, simply placed their scooters for everyone who wanted to rent them on the streets of San Francisco, Washington (DC) and Los Angeles. The company Bird, which managed not only to increase its capitalization to a billion dollars, but also defuse the local city authorities, was especially notable.
For example, in San Francisco, tenants rode scooters on sidewalks instead of bike paths and blocked off sidewalks with parked scooters. After serious dissatisfaction with the authorities and local residents (which resulted mainly in large-scale vandalism), the authorities decided to adopt a set of rules for companies operating in the rental market of scooters, in which they forced the companies to remove all scooters from city streets and then receive a special license.
However, companies do not give up, fight lawmakers and expand. Jump Bikes this year launched a rental in Berlin, and Lime (which also deals with bicycles) - already in several European cities.
A wave of interest in electroscooters has come to Asia, where there are many people, and the place in cities, as elsewhere, is not rubber. In China, Singapore and other countries, like Chinese mushrooms after the rain, companies that offer hourly rental of electric scooters also grow one after another.
Moscow and Muscovites
Fast forward to home. Moscow is becoming more and more fashionable city, and is trying to keep up with modern global trends. Despite the fact that for six months, an ordinary person will not ride a bicycle, the other half of the year is quite suitable for this (there is a mood to approach the question - the glass is half full, or vice versa). In 2013, the first automatic bicycle rental stations started operating in Moscow . After a couple of years of operation, all the shortcomings were taken into account, the equipment was replaced with a new one. Currently, there are 428 stations in the city (most of which are located inside the TTR) and there are about 4,500 bicycles in use. Within the “My Street” project, several e-bike rental points were made, but since then this project has not expanded.
The wave of fashion on electric scooters has come to us. In our conditions, the implementation of this idea, which is quite logical, came from two companies that are actively developing the car sharing business and are objectively leaders in this market. And, like car sharing, the scooter story develops very dynamically, almost at explosive speed.
At the beginning of May 2018, the rental station of scooters was opened by the company "Delimobil". 25 rental " Delisamokat " located within the Garden Ring. Several mobile vans with scooters daily stand in some areas outside the TTR - in Strogino, Krylatskoe, Kuntsevo, Ramenki, on Vernadsky and Lomonosovsky avenues. Now Muscovites have more than 2,650 scooters available, and in the future they plan to increase their number to 15,000.
And at the end of May, another company, YouDrive, also pulled up. They called their service YouDrive Lite , and their scooters so far can be taken and left only inside the Garden Ring.
In order to form an opinion on the usability and usefulness of such a transport as an electric scooter, I tested both of these services, and also met with representatives of both companies.
YouDrive uses Segway Ninebot ES1 scooters. The company modified the scooter, equipping it with a custom lock with Bluetooth-control and a short cable. Also, they put an additional battery on the steering column on the scooter (such batteries are usually installed on ES4) and ordered a special firmware version from the Segway.
The YouDrive rental system does not provide any points for issuing scooters. Instead, they are simply scattered around the city, albeit in strictly designated areas - on urban bicycle parking, metal rings, embedded in the asphalt. The specific parking (on which several such rings can be located nearby, and maybe one) makes a special sticker with a QR code suitable for scooters. All these parking places are on the mobile application map, and in order to take a scooter or leave it, you need to scan this sticker.
The lease procedure is as follows: you start the application, and find the scooter closest to you. You can also immediately see the level of its charge (in the form of an approximate mileage).
Reserve scooter can not. Going to the scooter, you scan the code, the application via Bluetooth communicates with the lock of the scooter, and opens it. You turn on the scooter and hit the road.
The scooter is handed over in reverse order - you find a parking lot, where you can do it, scan the code, open the lock, fasten the scooter, then take two photos - a close-up lock, and a general plan with a scooter. Rent completed.
Payment only per minute. At the time of this writing, the rate is 5 p / min.
I agreed to talk about this service with YouDrive Lite's marketing director, Cyril Kurashev.
Kirill, a young man in a bright blue suit and stylish sunglasses, but completely without any signs of a fashionable beard today, his appearance completely corresponded to his position. He made an appointment at the bar, came to her on the subway, and was very surprised when I called Moscow a fashionable city.
Waiting for him at the bar, I was happy that the day was sunny, because both before and after that Moscow was not lucky with the weather - it rained; and on a scooter, like on a bicycle, in the rain with an umbrella you cannot ride.
Answering the question about what motivated the opening of such a non-standard affiliated service, such as rental of scooters, Kirill explained that in the process of developing car sharing and saturation of the city with cars, it turned out that car sharing does not solve all the problems of moving around the city. “A daily car-sharing trip from a residential to an industrial area is ideal. A weekend trip between two points in the center of Moscow by car is a very inconvenient thing. And then our development director bought Ninebot when it first entered the market. He liked it a lot, he drove it from the subway to the subway, even in winter, saved a lot of time on it; and we began to think about how to integrate this system into the rental business. ”
“We want to make YouDrive a transport infrastructure so that one mobile application is enough for a person to move around the city,” said Kirill.
The company is simultaneously developing car sharing services, renting scooters, and since February 2018 has accepted applications for hourly rental cars to work in a taxi. Cyril explained that taxis are usually rented for a week, and the car is idle while the driver is sleeping or doing other things. YouDrive wants to offer drivers to rent cars for several hours, so that the car does not stand idle, and the taxi drivers do not pay for the time before they use the car. While business rental is in the process of recruitment.
All these three services are made as complementary. Kirill: "We know for sure that they are not competitors to each other, because I will go by taxi in one situation, in car sharing - in another, on scooters - in the third."
At the same time, the company does not treat YouDrive lite as entertainment, and positions scooters as the “last mile” transport. Of course, in the development of the project, it was focused on Western counterparts of the service. “We studied foreign experience comprehensively,” said Kirill, “colleagues went to the plant where Ninebot is manufactured, and where there is an assembly line of a special model for one of the American startups. As a result, we decided not to order scooters at the factory, but to refine them on our own in Russia. ”
Revision, visible to the naked eye - is a lock with a rope, not very presentable. When activated, the light starts to flash on the lock, which in sunlight (namely, in this weather, most of all the hunt to take a scooter) is quite difficult to see, especially if you do not know what it is there. Although this is the first season of the service, and various problems and shortcomings are simply inevitable. "Our goal for this season," said Kirill, "is not to earn space money, but to try out all the ideas, test all the hypotheses, hone the mechanics, introduce some more scooters and get ready for scaling next year."
Naturally, options for renting can be different - from rental points, as in amusement parks, and special points of issue (as in the Moscow Velobike service) to completely free scattering of scooters around the city (as they tried to do in China and initially in San Francisco ). YouDrive Company, having thought it all over, decided not to make centralized rental stations, as it considered that in order for these scooters to be always at hand, they would have to build too many stations. Kirill: "We now have 15 car-sharing, and if in a few years there will be 15 companies renting scooters, then all this will look very bad on the sidewalks of Moscow."
At the same time, the company wanted to find a compromise between the docking stations and simply free scattering of scooters, due to which, in particular, new regulatory measures were already introduced in San Francisco.
As a result, the scooters were decided to be tied to the city bicycle parking. On such a parking is glued a bar code, and the station becomes a parking for scooters. The free scooters themselves can be found on the map thanks to GPS, and you can park them at one of the stations marked on the map. Now there are about 100 such parking lots, the company plans to increase the number of registered parking lots to 300, and then, together with the Moscow Department of Transport, to increase their number.
About the remaining battery charge, the maintenance department knows everything that travels around the city and replaces the batteries with charged ones. By the way, carsharing companies are already switching to a similar system - instead of forcing a customer to spend time on refueling, they hire a third-party company that delivers gasoline around the city and refills cars. In YouDrive, such a system has been worked out, and the computer builds an optimal route for technicians, solving the “traveling salesman problem”.
New service - unexpected problems. What unintended problems did the company encounter during launch? “From the unexpected: when starting the service, the person was first shown the full scooter number. As a result, people learned to bypass the scanning of a QR code, and reserved a scooter for themselves, and then forgot, or confused, and came to the wrong parking lot. We closed the security hole quickly, and changed the rental system. ”
“Another problem turned out to be when the scooter was surrendered: you need to take a photo of the castle, and then the general plan of the scooter, where you can see that it remained intact, and also where it was left. It turned out that many do not understand how to do it correctly. We are trying to refine the interface on the go. Also, there are problems in order to find scooters. They have GPS, but there are certain difficulties with it. If it’s easier to find a car with a GPS error of a few meters, it’s harder to find a scooter in the city - they are small, but we refused some acid colors. ” Kirill showed in the app a live example - on the rental map two scooters are shown, one of which is depicted in the middle of the road, and the other is generally inside the building. In fact, it is most likely two scooters, standing nearby in the parking lot, located on the sidewalk.
Kirill: “In general, the main difficulty so far is when a person comes to a scooter, and someone else has just taken him away, or there are several scooters nearby in the parking lot, and you need to find your own.”
I note from the experience of using YouDrive machines that they also have difficulties with GPS, which usually do not happen to other companies. Whether some kind of chip is not so, or something else, but once I hardly found a car that was depicted on the map at all, not where it actually was, and another time I could not find a car at all, although I went around the courtyards of a couple of neighboring houses. “We admit certain problems with receiving signals from the equipment in order that the client could safely leave the car and go about his business,” Kirill explained in response.
Regarding the further development of the topic and what else can be expected from the rental service (maybe electric bicycles?), Kirill spoke about testing all sorts of hypotheses and ideas, and about working out the infrastructure. “Then this infrastructure can be used under everything, anything - mono-wheels, electric bicycles, etc.”
A scooter is an ideal vehicle for renting, since you can start riding a scooter without any preparation. As a child, I never rode a scooter, but I sat down and went right away. On monowheel, some people do not even manage to learn to ride, and to learn how to operate a bicycle, if it was not possible in childhood, it takes at least a few lessons. And regardless of clothes and shoes, you can get up and go on a scooter - unless it is uncomfortable with a briefcase, it is better to have a backpack, or at least a bag over your shoulder.
“I understand the rush of demand, since we have just opened,” said Kirill, “but I am surprised that the average length of the trip so far is longer than we expected - 25 minutes. In 25 minutes, a scooter can be reached from the southernmost parking lot (within the Garden Ring) to the northernmost one. The scooter is small, nimble, has a speed of up to 25 km / h, and allows you to go very fast. My scooter was in the technical run-in, and I noticed that even at night, without traffic jams, some routes on the scooter get to go as fast as on a taxi - despite the fact that the maximum speed of the scooter is 25 km / h, unlike from the frantic speed that a taxi driver can accelerate. ”
Shortly after the interview, I rode the bus on a day off, and it so happened that for nearly half an hour some young man on the NineBot electric scooter drove along the same route; as a result, we drove almost all the time with him, catching up with each other in turn. It can be concluded that in the absence of traffic jams, the speed of movement around the city on an electric scooter is comparable to public transport. By car, it will probably be faster, because it accelerates better than the bus and does not stop at stops. But this is only if there are no traffic jams on the route.
The company shared information that the main part of service users are young people under 30, with a peak from 22 to 27. People of all ages are showing interest. 80% of those who like to ride are men.
According to Cyril, in summer the scooter is even nicer than a car that warmed up in the sun (despite the air conditioning), except for convertibles. “Of course, at first, people calculated that 5 minutes a day equals 300 rubles per hour, and we were worried - but we carry out educational work on the fact that you can drive for 10 minutes on a scooter from the subway to the destination point, so much there is a ticket from the bus driver, and the bus is stuffy, there are a lot of people there, and you have to wait for it. And on a scooter - I left the subway and drove off. ” "If he is there," I said. “Yes,” Cyril confirmed, “there are not so many scooters at the first stage of development, but we would not like people to judge the service at this stage, and in the future we hope to bring their number to the same level as our Western counterparts.” So that they are always, in large quantities and in the right place. "
Pass-through registration is already running between YouDrive and YouDrive Lite applications, and if a person has registered and sent all documents for car sharing, then there is no need to register for scooters - and even authorization must be picked up on the fly.
The obvious problem of service is seasonality. Kirill: “We were immediately ready for the fact that this is a seasonal history, but have not yet announced when the season is over. According to the experience of our director, we know that it is possible to use it, and even in rather cold weather, so we decided to provide service until demand for scooters begins to fall significantly. ”
After the interview, I was given a chance to try out the service (by that time, the Android version of the application was not yet finished, but I don’t have an iPhone). Having swept along Chistoprudny Boulevard, I noted the good power of the Ninebot and, even from unaccustomed to, was afraid of high speed - it managed to accelerate to 18 km / h. But more about the experience of using this scooter - on.
The peculiarity of the Delisamokat service is that the company has special rental centers where you can hire and return the scooter. Points work from 7 to 23, for the night scooters are taken away "in the garage." At the points, employees of the company work, who issue scooters and take them back. To use the rental, you must select the rental point nearest to you and reserve a scooter, and then get to it in 20 minutes. The employee will scan the QR code on the smartphone screen and check the documents of the tenant, and then issue a scooter, and, if necessary, a charger. There are four tariffs for rent - at the time of writing this article it is 250 p / hour, 999 p / day, 3000 p / week and 9999 p / month.
The very first I just tried the Delisamoka service when it just appeared (and the first tariff was 100 rubles per hour). Then I got the first version of scooters - it looks similar to Xiaomi, but customized. Then the service did not cause me strong positive emotions - I reserved it for myself, arrived at the place, and I was given a specific scooter with a specific number assigned to me, although there were a dozen others at the point.
Despite the fact that my scooter was more than half discharged, I could not give out another option. After half an hour of riding the battery of the village - I had to go the old fashioned way, to get to the rental point on a muscular strain. However, now the service has already solved some of its problems, and the operator on the spot can issue any scooter - with a large charge, or another brand. The company is testing two different types of scooters - one of its own design, ordered in China, and the other - the same Ninebot.
In order to understand the motivation of Delimobil, which decided to develop its rental service towards scooters, and find out about their plans, I went to meet the company’s office in Sokolniki, where I talked to Leonid Sysoev, Director General of Delisamok and Catherine, in the meeting room. Non-therapeutic, project director.
What motivated the company? Thirst for profit? Request from the government of Moscow? Submission to the hipster spirit of the time? Or is it just an advertising move that attracts customers to car sharing? Was the project somehow tied to the World Cup?
“The project is primarily commercial,” said Leonid. “But this is also a part of a city infrastructure project that ensures the movement of citizens in an urban environment.” By car it is difficult to drive, and there is a question about alternatives. We looked at alternatives, the bikes are already there, so you chose electric scooters as the most convenient option. ”
Leonid, a large, respectable man in a strict suit and tie, did not at all fit in with the image of a young manager driving around the bike paths on a scooter. “Our audience is strictly 18+, full-grown people also ride scooters, and I don’t hesitate,” he said, “I just had to attach the strap to the bag, because it’s uncomfortable to go with a bag in my hand.”
Leonid continued: “It turned out to be very convenient to drive in the center, with all the bike paths and the rest. On the track, of course, not worth it. But the problem of movement remains in the sleeping areas, when you rode the subway, and then you need to get home. If you take a taxi or take your car, it loads the roads of the city. Scooter, as a means of transportation without the need to spend muscular strength, copes well with this. On it you can get to the subway, and you can even take with you in the subway. This tool is designed to relieve the road. In Moscow there are already good buses, high-speed trams, updated trolley buses, and all development goes in such a way that public transport is beautiful and convenient. A scooter helps solve this problem. ”
The experience of American startups also came in handy, but it turned out that at Delisamokat, they primarily looked at Asian cities, especially Singapore — there is a high population density, reminiscent of Moscow (Moscow’s population density is about 5,000 people / km 2 , Singapore’s about 7 thousand).
Catherine: “We watched the experience of all cities, not only Singapore, but also San Francisco and Los Angeles, where these scooters first appeared. In many places, everything works according to the free-floating scheme. Scooter can be left anywhere and take it from anywhere. World experience shows that the city has problems because of this. For business, it can be convenient, and the city begins to resemble a garbage dump, where scooters lie everywhere. They have to be removed from the roadway, or to wash and remove the pavement. We tried to avoid such mistakes. We now have more than 2000 scooters in Moscow, but this is not the limit. We want to increase their number and not get problems. ”
What are the plans for the development of the network - to reach the Moscow Ring Road? At least get to the Marina Grove? I asked, referring to my personal interests. “Well, we are not planning to go straight to the Moscow Ring Road yet, and we will definitely not go outside the Ring Road,” said Leonid. - For the next three years, there is a plan to bring up to 16,000 scooters to the roads; With an average of 20 scooters at one point, this should result in more than 500 points. It is clear that just the most problems with displacement arise outside the TTR, therefore these areas are one of the development priorities. Although inside the Garden Ring, despite the abundance of metro stations, it is very inconvenient to make a transfer between some branches. Such transfers in working day mode are very convenient. ”
Catherine: “We have the most popular point of return for scooters - in Strogino. It is seen that people take scooters in the center, and then rent them there. Often they take for a day, ride in the park in the evening, and then return. The second version of the scooters, which we brought to the streets, has an additional battery, and they are able to travel up to 40 km - it is possible to cross all of Moscow. ”
“Moscow is a fashionable city?” I asked, remembering the reaction of Cyril from YouDrive Lite. “Moscow in a recent survey entered the Top 10 cities where people from all over the world would like to go to the New Year,” Catherine replied. “The city is developing - 3 years ago we did not have car sharing, and now there are 15 such companies. Last year there were no rental of scooters, and now we have more than one company on the market.” “And two,” I say. “One and a half,” laughs Leonid. "The city supports such interesting initiatives," Ekaterina continues, "for users and for residents."
In addition, in July the company already opened a second city with rental of scooters - Grozny. In February, carsharing opened there, and the city government also supports initiatives to increase the convenience of infrastructure. “There are very beautiful recreation areas, and we hope that the scooter will fit there very well,” says Leonid. “In general, there is an interesting statistic in Grozny - compared to such regions as the Volga region, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, there are more women driving cars, contrary to all ideas about Muslim girls”. This is interesting if we consider, for example, that in Saudi Arabia only from June 2018women can get a driver's license and legally get behind the wheel. True, for this they still need to ask permission from men. “It is interesting that the accident rate in Grozny is lower in percent compared to other regions,” said Leonid.
What else is planned, except for scooters? Deliskuter, delimotoroller, delimotorcycle? “Sale”, laughs Catherine. “Mayor Sobyanin just asked this question to our main shareholder, Vincenzo Trani,” says Leonid. “Do you say they will sell off by the winter?” Vincenzo shook his head in reply, but said that so far they had not worked through such a question.
I shared my own, not very successful experience of using the service, and asked about their scooter, if this is not Xiaomi. “No,” said Leonid, “the scooter was specially developed according to our requirements in China. There is only one version of scooters, not very common, which is made in South Korea. All other scooters are made in China, and they are delivered worldwide. This is not a certain brand, just there are many manufacturing plants. Specific requirements are a solid-cast tire that will not be punctured, but with shock-absorbing holes. It was also necessary that the scooter was not very expensive, not very heavy, and with a simple design - the simpler, the less breaks. We needed to make a compromise on the battery, but in the end we stayed in the area of a distance of 20-23 km. ”
“We have received and tested the batch since February. Naturally, it was made by the Chinese in the image of something, so many people say that the scooter looks like a Xiaomi. From experience, it turned out that it was difficult to drive on pavement (tile) without shock absorbers, so we took the second batch of [Ninebot] with two shock absorbers, and it was more comfortable to ride it. True, users are divided into two parts, someone likes the first option, someone the second. But while it’s impossible to choose a scooter when reserving. ”
“The fact is that this is our common approach to renting - in car sharing we already have three car models, but the map does not show where the model is, it can be seen only after choosing. We believe that the client takes the car not to drive, but to drive, and since the tariffs are the same, 4 wheels are 4 wheels. Also with scooters. If he wants to go, he will go to the center and choose a model for himself. And there is no guarantee that we will focus on two options. Maybe something third will appear. We were looking at the three-wheel version, and the others too - we'll see. "
The most unexpected problems? “It’s always unexpected with clients,” says Ekaterina. - Preparing for one thing, but people understand everything differently. For example, there were frequent cases when grandparents and grandchildren approached a rental point and tried to take a scooter [scooters are issued for citizens over 18]. Operators at the point have to explain to people that, yes, they can give them a scooter, but it is clear that they take a scooter to their grandson, and this is prohibited - just like riding a scooter together. Because of the high speed on such a scooter, you can seriously fly away. "
“Another of the jambs that we did not foresee, Leonid recalls,” led to the fact that we subsequently turned to Ninebot scooters. - We started the service on Friday, and heavy rain poured over the weekend. As a result, it turned out that our scooters are not very protected from moisture, which is why quite a lot of scooters got into repairs. With the Segway, this is better - the wires are removed to the steering rack, the protection is more serious. Because of this rush of demand, there were queues and even conflicts over the last free scooters at the outlet at the points of issue. ”
“Well, in general, from curiosities, it is necessary to observe how some people, especially the older generation, who are used to pushing scooters, rent a scooter, and out of habit drive it, pushing from the ground.”
Does the service of renting scooters detract from customers from car sharing? “No, on the contrary,” says Leonid, “this increases brand loyalty, especially since registered clients of“ Delimobil ”automatically get access to“ Delisamokat ”. Well, in general, the segments of the problems that these services solve are completely different. ”
“For the time being, there is the following division,” says Catherine. - There are people who take scooters for a day and a week. They use scooters the way we want. While 60% of people take a scooter for an hour, try, ride, and everyone else takes a scooter early in the morning. At 7 am, the scooter is obviously not taking a ride, but somewhere to get there. Or they take them for a day - this means they take exercises, leave them to spend the night at home or wait in the office, that is, use it for its intended purpose, deciding whether to transport your body from point A to point B. Such a trend was drawn after how we entered the rates for day, week and month. "
“Previously, according to the rules, scooter had to be taken in the evening. Therefore, clients who wanted to stay longer and take a walk in the evening and leave for work in the morning could not take a scooter. Now there is such an opportunity. ”
I clarified demographic statistics on the use of scooters. “We expected that the majority of clients would be between the ages of 18-21,” said Ekaterina, “but it turned out that the statistics are not very different from the“ Delimobil ”- that is, our target audience was between the ages of 25-30, and more than 70% - men. Although, if you look at Instagram, there’s only girls there. ” "They take more pictures," says Leonid, "and men drive more on business."
What about the pronounced seasonality of the business? “We still have some thoughts, but we are not ready to voice them. In principle, a lot of thoughts - opening circles, where people could disassemble them and repair, or arrange them in clubs and restaurants as interior decoration - while everything is in brainstorming. In general, there are bars that order personal Harley-Davidson motorcycles for the interior, why not. But in any case, the season in Moscow is planned from April 1 to October 31, although it is clear that April 1 is cold and autumn is different. By the way, we tested them in February, and it is possible to go along cleared snow tracks, however, it is slippery. You have to drive carefully, and the charge in the winter sits down quickly. But, for example, in the same Grozny only January and February are from the off-season months: this is +4 and a strong wind. ”
What about southern cities? For example, Sochi? Or in the Crimea? “In Sochi, everything is there,” says Leonid. “There was an Olympiad there, a lot of things were built there, there is a lot of electric rolling. The city is saturated, and even in spite of the fact that this is a resort city, where people usually pay more, we plan to come to regions where there are no mobility solutions yet - as we strive for social responsibility, we want to develop the infrastructure. You can’t think only about money, ”and Leonid showed with gestures how the sand flows through his fingers. “As for the Crimea, we heard that the mayor of Alushta wanted to do car sharing there, but we are not ready for it yet. This will be the first summer season after the launch of the bridge, so you need to look. True, with the roads there is not very. "
“I would also like to remind you in the framework of social responsibility,” Leonid continued seriously, “that although you can take the subway with a scooter, you cannot ride there, especially on an electric scooter, where you can mix up gas and a brake. And riding a helmet never hurts. In the city, this transport is equal to a bicycle, and it is recommended to ride along bicycle paths, and in their absence - the extreme right lane (if it is not occupied). Like bicycles, they should not ride on sidewalks. But if you are driving on the sidewalk, then at the crossing of the road you should definitely get off. And do not jump from the curb - it is not intended for this mode of operation. Also, to go, holding the wheel with one hand, is inconvenient and dangerous, unlike a bicycle. The more scooters there will be in the city, the more difficulties they will have with them, and we want to prevent them. ”
Were there any accidents involving scooters? “Not yet, fortunately, there is a maximum of broken knees,” said Leonid. “We have the opportunity to choose scooter insurance, but there is no life and health insurance.”
“The maximum speed of a scooter is 25 km / h, it’s like a bicycle,” Ekaterina added. “This is embedded in the firmware.” And if the "snack food"? "Well, in general, the second version of the scooter can accelerate to 35 km / h, but we, obeying the traffic rules, specifically limited the maximum speed, both in the firmware and mechanically."
I personally checked this restriction, taking advantage of the opportunity to take a scooter for a week from Delisamok. The Ninenot scooter for Segway has a mobile application from which you can control its characteristics and view statistics, but there is a password on the scooters, without which this will not work.
At the point closest to the house, I was given a scooter and a charger (reminiscent of a charger from a laptop), and I drove it home. I liked Ninebot more than the customized version of Delisamoka - two shock absorbers brighten up the cracks in the asphalt and driving on our favorite tile, the scooter looks more reliable and thoughtful, its scoreboard is more informative (although it is difficult to read information in the bright sun).
Living in Moscow, near the subway, I have long refused a personal carin favor of public transport and car sharing. In the summer, I prefer to ride a bike everywhere. Of course, it was very interesting for me to compare the pros and cons of a bicycle and a scooter. Here is what I found out.
Detailed reviews of this scooter can be easily found on the Internet . In short, the Segway has three Ninebot models - ES1, ES2 and ES4. The first one is basic, without shock absorbers. The second one - with two shock absorbers, and the ES4 differs only in the fact that an extra rechargeable battery is installed on its steering column with a black hump. By the way, you can buy it separately and turn your ES2 into ES4 yourself. In Moscow, ES1 and ES2 can be found a little cheaper than 20 tr., ES4 - a little less than 30 thousand (an additional battery costs about 10 thousand).
These are big, heavy cars, but also quite neat - all the wires are hidden in the steering column. In the same place, by the way, there are also batteries. The scooter is conveniently folded and fixed, and in the unfolded state, the fixing hook on the column can be used by hanging a small bag there. The wheels are cast, which eliminates punctures, but adds rigidity and weight. There is a comfortable footboard, when folded, hiding in the groove of the deck.
The scooter is charging from the 220 V network for quite a long time - 3 - 3.5 hours. I also found problems with the indication of the remaining charge - I don’t know if these were problems of a particular instance, or of this model as a whole. The higher the percentage of charge indicator showed, the slower the scooter charged. Conversely, the readings at low percentages of charge are greatly overestimated - I could not drive one-tenth of the maximum range by 10% of the charge.
On the steering wheel there is a power button, a display with an indication of speed, driving mode and charge level, as well as the "gas" and "brake" buttons. There is a flashlight in front that can be turned on and off as desired. To go, you need to push off with your foot and give the scooter an initial speed, and then click on the "gas".
In motion, when the "gas" is not pressed, the recovery is activated, which is enhanced when you press the "brake". If you need to brake more sharply, this can be done by the classical method by pressing your foot on the rear wing.
The scooter has several modes of operation. YouDrive has three versions - economical, casual and sporty. Delissamokat has two - regular and sporty. They differ in maximum speed and acceleration during acceleration. True, with my weight, I did not feel the difference in accelerations. On a horizontal road in the “sport” mode, I managed to reach a maximum speed of 18 km / h, and down a hill - 23 km / h. This is more than a bicycle ride mode (I somehow tried, pedaling, to catch up with the person on the electric scooter, and it turned out to be very difficult).
The advantages of a scooter
Mobility. It is easier to get into the elevator with him (even the passenger one), and for business. It is not necessary to leave on the street, you can fold and make inside. True, an impressive weight due to batteries makes this task not so easy as in the case of ordinary scooters (especially, probably, for fragile girls). If you do not believe, try shopping with dumbbells weighing 12 kg. It’s also uncomfortable to roll on one wheel - the steering column outweighs the steering wheel. The only way that came up to me was to roll it by the handles in front of me, like a lawnmower. When I went shopping, I did not go to the shops with a scooter - I fastened it outside like a bicycle. I had to think about how to fix it - he does not have a cable. As a result, I stopped at the variant with the rear wheel - it does not have a motor, and you can just stretch the cable between the spokes.
And yet, it is very convenient that you can go to the subway with your own transport (according to the rules of using the subway, in Moscow you cannot go down the subway with a bicycle - only if it has one wheel removed, or it is folded, and also put in a cover. Never I did not meet people with a bicycle in a case). Not to mention the fact that the bus or other transport with a scooter get much easier. So as a means of the last mile, it is really good.
It is necessary to get used to carrying a scooter. This, of course, is not as difficult as pulling a bike - however, I received my portion of blows with a deck on the ankle, trying to carry the scooter by the handles.
Versatility. You can ride in costume, dress, and patent leather shoes, and heels - in any casual dress.
Saving forces. Efforts to maintain balance, of course, are spent all the same - but, as on a bicycle, you don’t sweat on it. The load is comparable to a walk of the same duration. Therefore, you can freely come, for example, to work, and not think about the soul and dressing up.
Maneuverability. When going on a zebra from a bicycle, it is necessary to get off. Psychologically, it is difficult to do this - I sat down, got up, then again sit down more comfortably, waste time ... it is much easier to get off the scooter - you already stand not far from the ground. On a scooter, a person takes up less space than a bicycle, both in length and width, and on busy streets it is more convenient.
Advantages of the bike
Course range. I used Ninebot ES2, without an extra battery. Field tests showed that in real urban conditions, my 110 kg live weight scooter can transport exactly 10 km - taking into account the recovery it has. This system is certainly not linear, so a person weighing 55 kg will not be transported exactly for 20 km. But even if the distance is a little more - and 20 km for a minimally trained cyclist is not the limit.
This distance can be enough if you use a scooter, as a means of transportation from the bus stop to the office, or for other short distances. But on a bicycle, I usually drive at least 10 km - the upper limit, of course, is limited only by the rider's training. A heavy electric scooter with a dead battery is very difficult to roll - it is hard uphill, it rolls reluctantly from the mountain because of the motor.
Comfort. On the bike we sit. Not in the chair, of course, but when moving downhill, you can relax, which is what causes a large distance, which, in principle, you can ride a bicycle. In addition, do not let scooter dampers fool you - all cracks and joints are felt perfectly. An elevation difference of more than 1 cm when passing at high speed leads to a furious jolt. A bicycle, even without shock absorbers, is much more passable; huge wheels, airbags - all this greatly affects comfort (I compare it with my bike, with a suspension fork and a hard “tail”).
Patency. On the curbs on the scooter do not jump. He is very heavy, and from such attacks probably will quickly become worthless. It is possible to ride it on sand, earth and grass, but it is uncomfortable and slippery. Tile - bounce. Stone blocks - God forbid. Zebra - unpleasant feelings (although you can feel these strips on a bicycle, but not so much). Any bike in this matter will give a big head start, not to mention specialized mountain bikes or models with thick tires for loose surfaces.
When I handed over the scooter back to the rental, he banged me goodbye with a deck on the ankle, where a decent bruise had already formed. But I still enjoyed riding the electric scooter. If you put movement in the limitation of the range of its progress, then this is a good summer transport. In general, I prefer a bicycle, but sometimes I would not refuse a scooter.
Unfortunately, in the first season of use, the network of both services is mostly limited to the Garden Ring (although Delissamokat has points in the west of the capital), and although I often travel to different parts of the city on business, I have never had a chance use a scooter. Usually, the movements take place outside the Garden Ring, and even the Third Ring, where you can neither take a scooter nor hand it over. I hope that in the following years the networks will grow, and the competitors will catch up, because in fact this transport definitely has its unique advantages.