Hive to add 800 e-scooters to snowballing services in Brussels
Since Thursday, the shared yellow e-scooters of Hive are now also present in Brussels. It’s the fifth e-scooter distributor in the Belgian capital, after Lime, Dott, Tier, and Flash. Soon there will be a sixth because the car-sharing platform Poppy is going to expand its offer with both shared e-scooters, as well as electric mopeds.
Plus 800 e-scooters
The Dutch shared e-moped service, Felyx, launched its first 200 of 614 e-mopeds in Brussels on Wednesday. On Thursday it will be Hive’s turn, a new start-up created by MyTaxi, the ride-hailing app owned by the German car manufacturer, Daimler. Hive that is also active in Vienna, Lisbon, Paris, Athens, Warsaw, and Wroclaw, immediately launches 800 shared yellow e-steps in Brussels.
Hive aims to offer a service that restricts the use of private vehicles and thus also prevents traffic jams, pollution, noise, and lack of parking spaces. Just like the other providers, the dockless e-scooters are picked up and charged at night – with energy from renewable sources – and set up in the streets in the morning.
The ‘Hive bees’ can be used via an application and with a QR code. The rate is the same as of other operators: one euro to unlock and 15 cents per minute. The company, which claims about forty employees in Brussels, will also send out a special team that will ensure that the e-scooters don’t obstruct traffic: fallen or improperly parked e-scooters will be straightened or moved as soon as possible, ensures Hive. In doing so, the company hopes to distinguish itself from its competitors.
Poppy’s total package
In the first two weeks of July, the offer of alternative means of transport in the capital will be further expanded. The Antwerp car-sharing platform Poppy launches another hundred e-mopeds and about two hundred e-scooters. It is the first distributor to offer a total package of means of transport.
“We want to offer the three vehicles, and they are complementary,” says Vincent Haarscher, CEO of Poppy. “You can only do big shopping in a car, and with three you can’t get on an e-scooter, but sometimes it might be more convenient to take the e-scooter quickly.”
Earlier it was announced that Poppy in Brussels would take over the services of car-sharing platform Zipcar from the summer onward.
The number of e-scooter-sharing services is snowballing in Brussels, totaling more than 4.000 electric scooters. But there may not be a limit, because the alternative means of transport are seen “as an important complement to transport,” says Inge Paemen, spokesperson for Brussels Mobility.
Due to the crowded market, Brussels Mobility and the municipalities of the Brussels Region announced at the beginning of June that the dockless e-scooters could soon no longer be parked anywhere on the pavements.
E-scooter replaces pedestrians, hardly cars
However, a spot-check from the Brussels weekly, BRUZZ, and a large-scale French study among 4.300 e-scooter users showed that electric scooters mainly are used by pedestrians and that they hardly replace cars.
Providers of e-scooters like to present themselves as ecological innovators, who want to reduce car traffic in cities, but that picture does not always seem to be correct.
New safety campaign
Brussels Mobility also announces that a campaign will be launched on Friday to make users of e-scooters aware of their driving behavior in traffic. “Road safety also applies to an e-scooter, because it is a means of transport like any other,” says Paemen.
On Thursday evening in Ixelles, a 25-year-old man was seriously injured when he collided with another e-scooter user with his e-scooter. In May, the first casualty on an e-scooter had already occurred in Brussels.