Fast, convenient, and environmentally-friendly: Moscow opens electric scooter rental

Fast, convenient, and environmentally-friendly: Moscow opens electric scooter rental
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
A new service will make travelling about the city faster and more convenient, utilising scooters that can speed up to 20 km/h and go an average distance of between 15 and 20 km before they need to be recharged.

Moscow has opened Russia’s first citywide electric scooter rental service, Delisamokat, which literally translates as “Sharescooter”. Twenty five rental points dot downtown Moscow and the districts of Strogino, Krylatskoye, Kuntsevo, Ramenki, Prospekt Vernadskogo, and Lomonosvky Prospekt beyond the Third Ring Road. In the former, the rentals are stationary; in the latter, they are in trailers.  There are a total of 700 scooters, but plans call for bringing the number up to 1000 before the year’s end, eventually reaching 15,000.  

“Today, thanks to our investors, we have opened Moscow’s first scooter rentals. As far as I know few cities have them. Such cities are literally in single digits. Moscow is already leading the way, as we can say. I hope the new service will be as successful as our car-sharing programme, which is becoming more popular by the day and is setting new records with the pace of its development,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

The company behind the scooter rentals is private. It is called Carsharing Russiya, better known under the name Delimobil.  Sergei Sobyanin gave a certificate of mayoral gratitude to its founder Vincenzo Trani. “What you are doing is great. You did a great job believing in Moscow, and I think you haven’t regretted it,” Sobyanin said.

“We really hope we will have competition soon. When there is competition, the market gets better. It’s what happened when we launched a car-sharing service, it’s what I hope will happen now with the scooters,” Trani said. “I’m backed by about 600 investors, who have placed their money in our company and who see opportunity for business development in Moscow”, he added.

Fast and convenient

Delisamokat is short-term electric scooter lease service. Similar projects have been implemented in a few US cities in California, in Germany and in Singapore.

A scooter can reach speeds of up to 20 km/h and cover an average distance of between 15 and 20 km before its needs to be recharged.  Users don’t need a driver’s licence, any special equipment or skills, although wearing a helmet is recommended.

The new service will ensure faster and more convenient travelling about the city, mainly on short trips of up to 5 km. With it, customers can cut down on the time and effort needed to purchase their own vehicle, store it or take it here or there. What is also important, the electric scooter is environmentally-friendly.

How to use the service

New users have to register online or in the mobile app, following the same procedure as with the citywide bike rental service. Delimobil customers can skip registration altogether.

The app can then be used to find the closest rental station and book a scooter. The client will then be given 20 minutes to reach it. Each rental has Delimobil employees who will ask the customer to provide the booking code and his or her identification.

The scooter can be plugged in an ordinary 220-volt socket, with the charger rented at the same place as the vehicle itself.

Rentals are open daily from 7 am to 11 pm from 18 May to 31 October. The user can return the scooter to any station until 11 pm.

What does it cost

Users can choose to either pay 100 roubles (≈ 1.37 euro) per hour or 450 roubles for the entire day. The bankcard linked to the account will be billed automatically. Payment systems such as Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, and Russia’s Mir will all be accepted.

Weekly plans are in the works, along with projects to make rental stations automatic and sync the Delisamokat app with the citywide bike rental app.

A few words about the rules

Users can ride scooters to any place in Moscow, as long as the locality has roads.

Under city rules, scooters are the same as bikes, so users must stick to the rightmost lane, designated lanes, bike tracks, pavements and pedestrian walks, in the latter cases – only if there is no other way. Moscow currently has over 773 km of designated lanes and bicycle tracks along its streets and in parks.

Users should wear helmets for protection and bring reflecting objects with them at night time. Each scooter is outfitted with reflectors, reflecting decals, and a light.

Delimobil: 600,000+ users and 4 million+ trips

Delilmobil is currently Moscow’s largest car-sharing operator. In addition to the capital, the company is active in Grozny, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, St Petersburg, and Ufa.

Delimobil has a fleet of 2950 cars in Moscow that service over 600,000 people.  One car is used on average between 8 and 10 times a day.

Since the autumn of 2015, Moscow users have made over four million trips behind the wheel of Delimobil cars, proving that car-sharing has become an essential and popular addition to other kinds of transport in the Russian capital.

The company is looking to bring the number of its cars in Moscow to 5,000 before the end of 2018, and to 10,000 in Russia before the end of 2019.

Moscow car-sharing programme

The Moscow Carsharing project went live in October 2015. It has since spawned 15 operators with a total fleet of 4162 cars, the size of which is set to increase to between 10,000 and 15,000 cars before the year is out.

Users make close to 50,000 trips daily on workdays. Since the start of 2018, they have used short-term lease services 3.4 million times against 5.6 million for the whole 2017.

Moscow authorities decided to subsidize car-sharing operators in August last year. The subsidy applies to the purchase of cars that were assembled in Russia and meet Moscow car-sharing requirements.