On Tuesday, Estonian start-up Bolt launched electric scooter services in nine German cities saying it was its biggest and most challenging rollout to date.
Bolt will offer rides for as little as $0.06 (0.05 euros) per minute with no unlocking fees, in a market that sees peers charging typically 1 euro per trip plus 15-25 euro cents a minute.
“We think that’s a price point where really everyone can start using the service,” said Bolt’s 27-year-old CEO and co-founder Markus Villig.
Incidentally, Bolt is part of the micromobility startups, which includes Voi, Tier, and Lime, who are seeking to replace cars in city centres with more flexible and sustainable transport.
Bolt is active in more than 40 countries, with 130,000 of its e-scooters on Europe’s roads. Its plans for Germany sees it deploying 15,000 of its two-wheelers fleet in Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Potsdam, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Fuerth.
When asked how Bolt could compete so aggressively on pricing, Villig said it was able to “spread the cost of services including ride hailing, electric bicycles, food and parcel delivery and car sharing across its technology platform”.
The startup also aims to offer increased reliability with it’s Bolt 4 scooter model, which is modular, with an easy-to-repair design and which can be fully recycled.
Bolt is also looking to expand its presence in 150 European cities in 2021 as part of a 100 million euro investment strategy, which it said would make it the region’s largest micromobility provider.
($1 = 0.8227 euros)