Bosch’s electric scooter sharing service Coup has announced that it will discontinue its service in the German Berlin and Tübingen by mid-December 2019. The Paris and Madrid locations are also to be closed at short notice.
A continuation of Coup is “economically not possible in the long run on the highly competitive sharing market with high costs at the same time”, according to a press release. With its turquoise-black Gogoro scooters, the service, which was launched in Berlin in the summer of 2016, has quickly become a well-known brand, and its expansion into the capitals of Spain and France has also established an international presence.
The reason for the end was mainly the costs. To be able to offer the high-quality service appreciated by customers, a great deal of effort is required – in the communication Coup mentions, for example, premium vehicles, an intuitive booking platform, additional services such as driving school and Citytours. “The daily operation with battery replacement and customer service is cost-intensive, but necessary in order to make the fleet available to customers in good condition,” writes Coup.
A price increase to cover costs was obviously out of the question, as customer loyalty in the sharing market is rather low and price sensitivity is quite high. With further operation at higher prices, further losses would have been incurred if the number of users had fallen.
According to the announcement, customers should be able to continue using the service until it is discontinued. The costs incurred for minute packages already purchased and not used are to be reimbursed. Coup only introduced the minute packages this summer, and in October users even tested a battery change in Berlin – even then an attempt to save costs.
In March, Coup boss Berne Schmaul in the interview with electrive had shown up content with the extent of utilisation. However, he also admitted that there would be no profits in the foreseeable future. “Coup is naturally an investment topic since 2016. We are growing very strongly and are currently concentrating on this,” said Schmaul at the time.
According to its figures, Coup employs a total of 120 people, 75 of them in Berlin. “These are to receive support with the switching on new jobs, according to Coup. “As far as this is not possible, redundancy payments are planned.”
Source: Press release via email