What are and how do the best commercially available apps for renting an electric scooter work, and what are the rules of the road.
Scooter apps: how to rent one? For some time now, electric vehicles are a reality in our cities. They allow to avoid traffic, to move easily and to respect the environment. These green and low cost means of transport can be purchased or rented. In the latter case, we have several operators available, from Helbiz to Lime, Circ and Bitmobility. The apps for electric scooters are easy to use with a single click and allow for fast and safe rental.
Why rent an electric scooter
The electric scooter is a means of transport much loved abroad that has also taken root in Italy. More and more children and adults are choosing this solution to go to work or school in place of the bus or car. In this way they avoid being stuck in traffic, eliminate the problem of parking and arrive earlier at any appointment. If with the mobility bonus many have purchased an electric scooter, there are still many people who prefer to rent one. In fact, renting allows you not to give up the great convenience of this means, taking advantage of the scooter apps created by specialized companies that offer this service.
How to rent an electric scooter
Motorbikes are undoubtedly the undisputed protagonists of micro-mobility. In a few years they have peeped on our streets, conquering everyone. The turning point came in 2020 with Law 160, which defined the rules that made scooters legal in Italy, equating them to bicycles. The rules to be respected are simple: the maximum speed is 20 km per hour, insurance and license are not required, while the helmet is not compulsory. Sharing services are numerous. Almost all offer free registration and the price of unlocking at 1 euro. Payment per minute costs an average of 0.15 euro with free floating mode, i.e. free parking.
In almost all Italian cities there are electric scooters for rent. In Turin, for example, there are hundreds of yellow Segway ES4 scooters by Hive, the company that belongs to the Free Now group, and Dott's vehicles, active in Europe and very convenient thanks to its packages. In Milan there are the sharing services of Wind, the yellow scooters with a long lasting battery, of Circ and Bit Mobility, the company from Verona that has conquered Verona, Turin, Cattolica and Misano. The Californian company Bird, present in numerous cities including Rimini, Pesaro, Turin and Verona, and Lime are also well-known.
How to rent an electric scooter: available apps
Many apps are available on the market for renting an electric scooter. Let's find out the most popular ones and how they work.
Helbiz scooter app
Helbiz is one of the most famous companies when it comes to electric scooters. The made-in-Italy app is the brainchild of Salvatore Palella, an Italian-American entrepreneur. There are many milestones achieved by the company. In October 2018, it was the first app for the rental of electric scooters to cover the territory of Milan and now has over five hundred vehicles equipped with lights, bell and a speed limiter. The app allows you to easily rent a scooter, using tablet or smartphone. Just download it and enter the location where you are. The system will find the nearest vehicle, to unlock it you need to frame the QR code that is on the handlebars with the camera. Once you have finished using it, you can leave the scooter in place, taking care to park it in a place where it does not obstruct pedestrian traffic, without any obligation to take it to a predefined point. Once the ride is over and the electric scooter is locked, the app will automatically charge the registered card. The price of the service is 1 euro for unlocking, plus 15 cents per minute for use. The Helbiz app is free and is available both on the App Store for all IOS devices and on Google Play for those who own an Android operating system.
Lime scooter app
Lime is one of the most practical apps to use for renting an electric scooter. Available for both IOS and Android devices, it allows you to rent all micro-mobility vehicles, such as e-scooters or e-bikes. Lime can be found in over a hundred cities around the world and has also reached Italy, particularly Milan and Area C. To use the app, once downloaded and installed, just choose the means of transport you want, between electric scooter (Lime-S), electric bike with pedal assistance (Lime-E) or LimeBike. The app will indicate which is the closest one and unlock it after scanning the QR code (alternatively you can enter the ID written on the bike). Also in this case, once you've finished the tour and arrived at your destination, all you have to do is park the scooter and lock it. The cost to unlock it with Lime is 1 euro, plus a 19 cents per minute rate.
Circ scooter app
Another very popular scooter app is Circ, available for both iOS and Android. Present in numerous European cities and Italy. The vehicles made available by this company are very special, featuring reinforced aluminum alloy construction elements and equipped with integrated front LED light and rear red lights. The Circ scooters also have a cell phone holder with USB charger and a drink holder, to ride with both hands and avoid accidents while driving. The operation of Circ is identical to that of Helbiz and Lime. The only difference is in the rate: unlocking the scooter costs 1 euro, while using it costs about 19 cents per minute. Finally, there are discounts for those who park in safe and selected areas.
Electric scooters: rules
Electric scooters have been equated with bicycles as long as they have a maximum power of 0.50 km. This means that all others are forbidden, in this case penalties range from 200 to 800 euros with confiscation of the vehicle. Scooters can also be used only by those over 14 years, only on urban roads where there is a limit of 50 km / h (and not prohibited the circulation of velocipedes) and on suburban roads, only on bike paths. When circulating in the roadway the maximum speed limit is 25 km/h and 6 km/h in all pedestrian areas. Can not circulate scooters that are without front and rear lights in the evening and at night, during hours of low light, during the day, in case of special weather conditions. In these situations they must be driven by hand. Penalties in case of violation range from 100 to 400 euros.
If underage, the driver of the scooter must wear a helmet. It is also required to proceed in a single line in any case, never being flanked in a number greater than two. The use of arms and hands must always be free to hold the handlebars except in cases where it is necessary to signal a turning maneuver. It is forbidden to carry other people, animals or objects, to tow vehicles, to drive animals or to be towed by another vehicle. Half an hour after sunset or in a period of darkness even during the day, drivers of electric scooters are obliged to wear retro-reflective suspenders and a vest. All violations carry an administrative penalty ranging from 50 to 200 euros.
Electric scooters are very convenient means of moving around the city, but it has been repeatedly pointed out that improper use can be dangerous. "Scooters and electric micromobility devices must be used with the utmost care, explained Giordano Biserni, President ASAPS, and drivers cannot think of driving as if they were a toy, to which everything is allowed. Servono i controlli da parte degli organi di polizia stradale, affinché non avvengano gravi incidenti e aver individuato le norme da applicare sicuramente potrà servire ad aumentare la sicurezza stradale. Le città devono prepararsi al possibile assalto di questi nuovi veicoli con la buona stagione, e i comuni dovranno predisporre anche campagne informative e di sensibilizzazione come avviene in quei Paesi europei dove già li utilizzano".
Riassumendo le regole per i monopattini elettrici
- Equiparazione ai velocipedi.
- No ai posti a sedere.
- Motore elettrico nominale continua non superiore 0,50 KW.
- No possesso patente.
- Età minima per utilizzo 14 anni.
- Obbligo casco solo tra i 14 e i 18 anni.
- Strade urbane solo dove vige 50 km/h e in cui sia consentita circolazione velocipedi.
- Strade extraurbane solo dove esiste pista ciclabile.
- Limite velocità su carreggiata massimo 25 km/h.
- Limite velocità su aree pedonali massimo 6 km/h.
- Luci obbligatorie da mezz’ora dopo tramonto e di giorno in condizioni atmosferiche che richiedono l’illuminazione.
- No targa o assicurazione.
- Nella circolazione non vanno mai affiancati in numero superiore a 2.
- Uso delle braccia e delle mani deve essere libero.
- Il manubrio va stretto sempre con entrambe le mani.
- Bretelle o giubbotti retroriflettenti vanno usati da mezz’ora dopo il tramonto e di giorno per condizioni atmosferiche che richiedono l’illuminazione.