After launching its mobility brand Mó in June, Seat is getting its first MaaS offer on the road. A fleet of 632 electric scooters is now ready for action in Barcelona. Users may jump on via an app that follows a subscription model.
The Spanish Volkswagen subsidiary launched Seat Mó in June this year but plans to enter the urban mobility segment go back to late 2019. Wayne Griffiths, Seat’s Marketing Director, then positioned the new brand saying “With Seat Mó we want to make micromobility accessible to everyone.” Also already then, Barcelona was on board, and Griffiths expanded that the service would “later be exported to large parts of the world”.
For now, Seat moved ahead locally and as planned. The brand states the implementation of the Low Emission Zone (LEC) in Barcelona at the beginning of the year had also played a role in the decision. An expansion in other cities is not imminent. A spokesperson told us: “We are now focussing on launching and establishing the service in Barcelona. Our city will be our playground for new mobility solutions before we scale them up for the rest of the world.”
So, its a home game of a showcase for Seat at the moment. A spokesperson explained that the city of Barcelona is involved insofar as it allocated the632 licences for motosharing to Seat Mó.
The sub-brand localised further as they developed the electric scooters, or “motos” together with the Spanish manufacturer Silence. The brand prides itself with all-electric scooters branded ‘Made in Barcelona’ since 2012.
They developed two models for Seat that will run under the Mó label as Seat Mó eScooter 125 and Seat Mó kick scooter 65. Lucas Casasnovas, now the head of the brand, describes the large motorised model as “equivalent to 125cc output”. 125 also designates the range, Mó claims.
Seat told electrive that all 632 e-scooters that have now become available across the Catalan capital are of type 125, so the moto version. Still, the company claims to run the smaller kick scooters as well.
In any case, Mó is gearing for extensive use as they offer longer-term subscriptions. To see how it works, fast-forward to about one minute into the video. We like the detail of the mobile pouch at the handlebar that allows for navigation using your phone.
Back to the subscription model – users can rent e-scooters for a whole week or months like a short-term leasing contract. Reserving the use of a scooter for a week costs 75 euros or 200 euros per month and 150 euros per month for quarterly rentals.
CEO Casasnovas highlighted that “consumer habits are evolving towards pay-per-use services. The new subscription model makes it possible to have a vehicle permanently available to the user, but without incurring associated costs such as parking, insurance or maintenance.”
The company has also implemented the weekly and monthly subscription format for its two kick-scooter models. The smallest eKickscooter 25 costs 15 euros per week or 40 euros per month. The new eKickscooter 65 can be rented for 25 euros per week or 75 euros per month.
Our request to specify whether the app allows riders to pay-per-ride as with other ride-sharing services was answered with yes. The price for short-term rentals is 0,26€/minute when in use, and 0,09€/minute when in pause, said Mó.
For charging the fleet, the Seat spokesperson told electrive, “we take care of the fact that the batteries are promptly substituted and charged in a charging hub in the city. Our eScooters have a battery swap system with a trolley that allows them to be changed quickly and almost seamlessly, to keep the vehicle on the road with minimal downtime.” With regards to long-term use, Seat told us: “Users that get a subscription for longer time receive a full pack that also includes a weekly battery change.”
With regards to the pandemic situation, Seat Mó took part in a European research project called CAMS (COVID Adapted Motosharing Services) financed by the European EIT Urban Mobility programme. Led by Seat, Elisava, the University School of Design and Engineering of Barcelona, and Nano-Care were on board with the latter supplying a sanitising solution that helps keeping the e-scooters clean.