Expat Essentials

Boaz Arad: Electric scooter sharing in Berlin

(Editor’s note: Boaz Arad originally posted this on the Berlin Expats public Facebook page. We found it so valuable that we asked – and received – permission to repost.)

By BOAZ ARAD

The weather has been quite nice in the last couple of weeks so I went out and tried out both Coup and emmy (previously known as eMio).

It was fun, and here are the conclusions:

Price:

Emmy – 19 ct./min or 59 ct./km, whatever ends up being cheaper. Pretty simple: if you drove 3 kilometers on one of these red rollers and finished the ride in 10 minutes, you’ll pay only €1.77.
For parking (engine must be off!) you pay 5 ct./min
Price per day: €24

Coup – €3 minimum for a ride up to 30 min (yep, you’ll pay €3 even if you only rode the scooter for 5 minutes). Your ride ended up taking 30-40 minutes? Add another Euro, and so on, for every 1-10 minutes extra. For an hour’s ride, for example, you’ll be charged €6.
Parking time is same as driving time.
Max day rate (07:00-19:00): €20
Max night rate (19:00-07:00): €10

Availability:

Emmy has a relatively small offering of 350 scooters, which means it’s not always easy to find one within walking distance. Coup has about 1,000 scooters, pretty well spread out and easier to find. Both companies have a relatively limited business area (compared to car-sharing companies) covering only what’s inside the ring.

Operation:

Super easy. Both companies operate pretty much the same: you use an app to locate and reserve the nearest available scooter, book it, then have 15 minutes to get to it and start your rental.

Once you get to the scooter you open its box using the app, take a helmet from inside, press the start button (emmy has some bikes which use a key you have to take from the box) – and start rolling. Once you get to your destination, you turn off the scooter, put everything back in the box, and then lock it and end the rental using the app.

Extra rider:

emmy – all scooters have an extra helmet
Coup – one helmet only

Parking:

On the sidewalk, without blocking the way, anywhere in the city

Prerequisites:

German/EU driver’s license. No need for a motorbike license. During the registration process (done using video chat) you will be asked to show emmy/Coup’s customer service rep your license + passport/ID.

Registration costs:

Emmy – €10 which get you 100 free minutes.
If you add this referral code during registration (viJW62cZ) you’ll get an extra 15 minutes and I’ll get some free minutes too 🙂

Or another option available only until June 25th: register for free and get 25 minutes as a welcome gift. Referral code doesn’t work on this sadly.

Coup – free of charge. Once registered and *before you go on your first ride* use this referral code (REF-2BC4-74P3) in the “free rides” section of the Coup app and you’ll get a free ride (me too!).

Bottom line:

Emmy pays off for short rides, is great for two people traveling together, but availability is so-so (although this might change soon, as they’re buying more scooters).

Coup is much cheaper for long rides/return rides/rides which include a number of destinations, only for traveling alone, and great availability throughout the city.

ENJOY YOUR RIDE!

About the author:

Boaz Arad is a native of Haifa, Israel who lives in Berlin.

He’s an owner of Media Kantine, a boutique photo and video production studio and creative hub.

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