The growth of the collaborative consumption in Spain opened doors to services in the sharing industry.
The Sharing Economy is increasingly becoming part of the city lifestyle, as a large number of start-up organizations are moving towards this niche market.
Initially, the concept of sharing first started by groups of citizens with genuine willingness to share and exchange their belongings with others. This trend became quite popular during the recession periods, as not many people were able to afford to buy brand new products. As a result, the sharing economy adapted and consolidated itself to the condition of the new society, which was then converted and adopted by companies. Many cities and capitals have made use of the sharing economy in order to transform into smart cities, with the aim to obtain a greater well-being and a more efficient use of the public resources.
The collaborative consumption can be divided into three categories:
- Collaborative lifestyles: People with common interests share and exchange less tangible assets like time, space, skills and money,
- Redistribution markets: Goods are no longer needed and are redistributed or sold in exchange;
- Product-based systems: Instead of purchasing an item, it is paid for its use for a certain amount of time.
Perfect example of this last option is moto-sharing in big cities like Barcelona, where companies that provides this type of service allow their customers to use their product for a set period, making the location more flexible in regards of space and time. In fact, a year after the introduction of moto-sharing in the city, we can say that this kind of business has definitely become a phenomenon.
Though an increasing number of businesses are offering this service simultaneously, there is one particular company that has proved to be the best in this sector.
E-Cooltra has the largest fleet of 360 Govecs electric motorcycles, situated in a service area of 40 km2, ranging from The Plaza de Europa to the Forum, and from La Sagrera to the beaches. Each motorcycle is built and designed with modern urban style, in fact, eCooltra electric scooter can be seen everywhere around the city, with its flashy blue and green rearview mirrors, parked on a sidewalk or circulating agilely in the street.
This company is also committed to sustain mobility, as HolaLuz provides them with electricity from renewable sources of energy and the vans used for the maintenance of motorcycles are also electric (Nissan E-NV 200). Furthermore, the extraction of the battery is made locally to not have to move the vehicles to a point of recharge.
A Representative of eCooltra stated:
“Only a few years ago we dined in restaurants while people smoked, which today it seems crazy to us … Will we still drive polluting cars in the near future?
At eCooltra, we want to offer a solution that includes: 1. Reducing urban traffic, 2. Reducing the number of vehicles, 3. Promoting sustainable mobility, and 4. Reducing pollution.”
Obviously, the fundamental thing is always safety, so all scooters include helmets and paper head protectors for hygiene reasons. Additionally, the user, companion and the motorcycle are covered by a comprehensive insurance.
The idea behind eCooltra
Timo Buetefisch, the CEO of Cooltra in Barcelona, justified the installation of their motor-sharing service in Spain, stating that he’s idea comes from the fact that, these days, many people tend to rely on their phone when looking for directions from one place to the other, as well as the distance and costs that’s involved within the journey. Furthermore, he also believes that, soon or later, there will be less people owning vehicles and many more opting for sharing.
Considering his business as a way to empower people to leave their private vehicle at home, he wants to turn the service into a large target market, though the main audience is between 20 to 45 years old and accustomed to new technologies. In fact, “The younger they are, the less sense of ownership they have” said Buetefisch.
Finally, Oriol Marimón-Clos, CEO of eCooltra Motosharing thinks that, thanks to this service, a smart city like Barcelona can offer alternatives in sustainable mobility that respond to the new demand of citizens and, at the same time help improve the quality of the air we breathe.
How does it work?
The system chosen by Cooltra is known as “free floating”, in other words, you can take the scooter wherever you are, without the struggle of collecting and sending it back to its actual store.
When the motorcycle runs out of battery, it disappears from the map, giving the time for the company to recharge it and put it back on the road for customers to use it again.
By downloading the eCooltra App you can see in real time the location of the available motorcycles and the time limit they have, so that you can calculate whether or not you can complete your desired journey. Instead of having fixed stations, you will be able to find the motorcycles parked in different points of the city which will be geolocalized in the app.
Through the mobile application, you can reserve a bike and access it within 15 minutes. Subsequently it is mandatory to make the return within a delimited area of 40 km2 and finalize the rent. The cost of the rental will be billed per minute, and the price is 0,24€/ minute. Before your first ride you have to register including your bank details and the scanner of your ID and a valid driving license.
With the same application you can rent bikes in cities where the service is deployed: Madrid, Rome and Lisbon are the cities where the company already operates, but in the medium term, the company also wants to take it to London, Amsterdam, Berlin and arrive in the United States. After many set backs and huge motivation to expand this service, eCooltra became the 1st scooter sharing service in the world to be able to operate in more than one city.
So if you have a driving license B and more than 18 years and you do not want or can not have a motorcycle to go from end to end of the city… you have no excuse, download eCooltra app and start enjoying Barcelona as a local!
For all Barcelona-home clients, eCooltra offers 30 minutes for free of your first ride by using the promotional code “BHOME30”
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