Bosch’s eScooters built to rideshare

Three eScooter Sharing Systems have recently been launched at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT), Vietnamese-German University (VGU), and Danang University of Science and Technology (DUT).

Shared eScooters could alleviate road congestion

This is the result of a joint project between Bosch Vietnam and the three universities. Students working in this project had won the Green Challenge contest which was co-organised by the German engineering giant and the universities in 2015.

Bosch engineers worked alongside the students to turn their winning ideas from the competition to practical use.

Bosch sponsored more than VND4 billion ($182,000) for this pilot project. Students of these three universities are able to use 18 eScooters free of charge within their campuses, after registering online.

Eco-friendly and trouble-free vehicles

These quiet, emissions-free eScooters are expected to be part of a development strategy to create eco-friendly transportation in large cities across Vietnam.

In order to rent an eScooter, users must create an account online at http://bosch-green-challenge.com.vn. Once logged in, a user can find an available eScooter, located at one of several docking stations around the city. After an eScooter is chosen, a code and a control card are given to the user, which can be used to activate the eScooter once at the station. The control card acts as a key for the eScooter, allowing users to lock, unlock, and open the seat compartment.

The eScooters are electrically charged at the docking stations, which are powered by solar panels located on the roof. When fully-charged, an eScooter can go up to an 80km distance, at a maximum speed of 45km per hour. Users must be at least 18 years old and have a valid motorcycle driver’s licence. The eScooters can be rented hourly for a minimal fee.

The potential for these eScooters are endless. For example, let’s say a person who lives in Ho Chi Minh City’s centre needs to go to an outlying district. At the moment, the easiest way to do so would be to catch a bus that would make frequent stops.

Community eScooter stations can be set up at bus stations and other key locations across the city, to help alleviate air and noise pollution by reducing the number of motorbikes on the road. This will also decrease fuel consumption while giving riders a sense that they are contributing to a cleaner environment.

Then there is the concern that the use of community eScooters may actually contribute to the traffic burden. According to Vo Quang Hue, managing director of Bosch Vietnam, for now, the push for less frequent use of motorbikes has not produced any positive results on reducing traffic. People are creatures of habit who cannot leave their motorbikes at home, because having these vehicles give them convenience and flexibility.

“Now, with community eScooters for rent, Bosch offers an alternative to help people gradually adapt to a new way of transport without getting out of their habit. Gradually, as people are able to rent a motorbike, they will not need to own one anymore. Then, the burden of motorcycles on traffic will be relieved,” Hue said.

Bosch wants to initiate stronger co-operations and collaborations between businesses and academia to boost research and development activities.

Hue added that if this eScooter rental system was properly implemented in large cities, it would help solve challenges in public transportation and in environmental protection. Furthermore, the system could be one of the building blocks for future smart cities.

Source: Vietnam Investment Review