Germany’s bike paths and roads have been more colorful since mid-June 2019: Because the small electric scooters can be used officially. As of the reporting date, the first sharing companies want to roll out their companions. The following are there or will start shortly.
While the nimble companions in many countries and cities within and outside Europe are already part of the controversial cityscape, Germany is a straggler, after all, some rules and regulations had to be decided for operation in this country. The official starting signal was given in mid-June and various sharing companies are already pawing their hooves and have already prepared everything for the distribution of their scooters in the background.
The scooter models have been equipped with an ABE (general operating permit) especially for the important German market. To do this, you need to have two brakes that work independently of one another, as well as lights, a bell and side reflectors. Likewise, there must be space for the necessary insurance sticker on the back of the scooter, similar to a moped, so that it can be moved by people aged 14 and over at a maximum of 20 kilometers per hour. Without these requirements, the e-scooters must not be on public roads or bike paths – they have lost nothing on the sidewalk.
Tried e-scooters from Tier, Lime, Circ and Voi: fun, but not cheap
All providers rely on the free-floating model, where the scooters can be parked and rented anywhere in the operating area. In terms of costs, Tier and most others have to pay an activation fee of Euro and 15 cents per minute – Lime has been charging 20 cents per minute since July 2019.
E-scooter sharing startup Circ has been with us since June 17th
It wasn’t until the beginning of June 2019 that the startup founded by Lukasz Gadowski in August 2018 changed its name from Flash to Circ. The original name reflects the rapid growth of the start-up, but the name is also strongly associated with speed, which does not match the company’s goals. The company wants to communicate the actual values with the name Circ: They include safety, responsibility and comfort.
After Circ already offers its offer in seven countries and 26 cities, the company has announced that it will distribute its scooters in Germany from mid-June. From June 17th, Circ wants to distribute 100 of its e-scooters for Berliners and visitors in the city at the start. Circ is the first sharing company to launch its approved e-scooter sharing service in Germany.
But Berlin is just the beginning: After the company received general operating approval for all of Germany on June 21, Circ announced the start in the cities of Hamburg and Cologne. Since June 27, the company has also been operating in Munich and Frankfurt.
After many discussions with almost 100 local authorities, Circ expects the service to be able to take off in around 80 other cities and towns in the coming months. In Herne, Circ has been officially renting the first e-scooters since early June through a special permit.
In addition to the credit card payment option, Circ has also integrated Paypal into its app since the end of July.
Circ would like to start in the following cities:
- Freiburg in Breisgau
- Offenbach am Main
Circ also aims to cooperate with transport companies. The company is a member of the International Association for Public Transport (UITP) and the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) “to promote seamless journeys between different modes of transport and to further strengthen these connections”. In Switzerland, Circ already works with the Swiss Federal Railways SBB: Passengers with an SBB train ticket can use a Circ scooter to get to their destination from the train station.