Bolt launches in Europe’s capital city
In aiming to become the largest micro-mobility provider in Europe, Estonian micro-mobility provider Bolt has launched a fleet of 1,100 shared eScooters in the 19 municipalities of Brussels. In celebration, it’s offering free unlock and rides for as little as €0.01 per minute until the 1st of July.
Last week, the Tallinn-based start-up announced plans to introduce eScooter services in other Belgian cities over the coming months. It already has a presence in over 100 European cities and plans to expand to 50 more by the end of the summer, including more in Belgium.
Founded in 2013, by Markus Villig, Bolt is currently the biggest player on the micro-mobility market in Europe and Africa. It offers ride hailing and micro-mobility (with e-scooters and electric bicycles), plus food and parcel delivery and has over 50 million customers in 200 cities in 40 countries.
Providing carbon neutral micro-mobility
Bolt promotes itself as the leading European transportation platform, with a mission to make urban travel more affordable, convenient, and responsible.
The company says all trips in Europe, using its services, are carbon neutral and has a plan (referred to as Bolt's Green Plan), to reduce its ecological footprint. It says its e-scooters are all charged with 100% green energy and made from 100% recyclable materials.
Welmoed Neijmeijer is especially proud of Bolt’s ecological vision. Bolt’s new model, for example, weighs just 19 kg. This lighter weight is made possible because the e-scooter is constructed from 90% aluminium, which is also recyclable.
Furthermore, only renewable energy (including that used for charging e-scooters) is consumed in Bolt’s warehouses in Belgium. In addition, Bolt has developed software that enables it to reduce the distance vehicles have to travel to replace eScooter batteries and it uses only electric vehicles for those trips.
“Brussels is the capital of Europe, for us, it is an important step,” says Welmoed Neijmeijer, Head of Policy Benelux, at Bolt. “We want to quickly expand our shared eScooter services in other Belgian cities in the coming months, as part of our long-term vision for Belgium.”
Investing in safer eScooters
In December 2020, Bolt announced a €150 million investment to further advance the quality and safety of its mobility services. The mobile application includes a beginner mode for users new to shared scooters. This reduces the vehicle’s maximum speed and acceleration, which in turn reduces the risk of accidents. Bolt has also created a feature that can signal if a scooter is not parked properly to help keep neighbourhoods free from dumped scooters.
Earlier this month, Bolt released its 4th generation scooter, developed by its in-house hardware team to become the safest model on the market. Sensors detect unsafe riding patterns and optimised construction enables extra stability and safe manoeuvring.
For the launch in Brussels, Bolt offers its e-scooters at 1 euro cent/minute, with no unlocking fee. This makes it the cheapest player on the market. After Lime, Dott, and Bird, Bolt becomes the fourth e-scooter distributor in the Belgian capital.
Image: Bolt's 4th generation eScooter, courtesy of Bolt.