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Paris: the low-key competition of self-service scooters

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Overshadowed by scooters, self-service electric scooters are also quietly tied up in a battle for supremacy in Paris. If the former are threatened by the referendum announced by Anne Hidalgo last week, the latter are suspended from the call launched in December 2021 by the council to protect themselves from the supposed anarchy against scooters. At the end of March, for a period of five years, three operators must be selected from among the four candidates: the historic leader in Paris, Cityscoot (since 2016), which has encountered some financial difficulties and had to reduce the aerodynamic profile (2,500 vehicles against 3,500 before); his main challenger, Yego; the Spanish Cooltra; and a third Frenchman, Troopy.

It is in this context that Yego -recognizable for its water-green, Vespa-type electric scooters- presents the JDD his new prototype. The start-up created in 2016 in Barcelona by three French people was first established in Spain, before tackling the French market. In 2022, it won two calls for expression of interest (AMI) in Bordeaux and Toulouse (250 vehicles in each city). The previous year it landed in Paris, its priority now, with currently 1,200 scooters; For June, 1,500 are expected if the city council selects it.

Don’t take up space

“Our strategy is to deploy a reasonable fleet so as not to occupy public space.” explains Benjamin Viguier, co-founder and CEO of Yego, who also intends to win the City Council’s favor for the call. “We have adopted the status of a company with a mission, adds Julie Borobio, Legal and Strategic Director. We are very committed to the environment, safety or inclusion. » Yego scooters are designed and assembled in France, in Maurepas, in Yvelines, by the French manufacturer Pink Mobility; most of them come from Germany. “The application and the server are developed by our teams, pursues Benjamin Viguier. Finally, our batteries will be manufactured in Nice and the motor controllers in Poitiers. »

The 2023 model of the start-up boasts of multiplying technological and practical innovations. “We have lightened the vehicle by 10 kilos, explain the leaders What makes it more manageable and reactive, is appreciated byour 42% of users, and consumes less energy. Thus, our carbon footprint is reduced by 10%. » The battery is supposed to benefit from a longer range (about sixty kilometers). The braking system has been improved.

And Yego scooters are now equipped with a unique detection system, at the end of each race, of the two helmets and two pairs of gloves (mandatory for drivers of motorized two-wheelers in France) inside the top-box. As with the automatic cash registers of certain supermarkets, a system identifies these safety accessories and prevents the scooter from being returned in case of absence. “No operator in the world had yet made gloves – approved, L and XL – available to their users”welcome the CEO.

Another innovation: customers will be able to activate, in the application, a “safe mode” limiting the speed to 30 km/h. History of respecting the regulatory limitation decided in the summer of 2021 throughout Paris. However, the machine can run at a maximum of 45 km/h. Soon, a flashing light warning on the speedometer will indicate any speeding.

A gyroscope detects falls

In addition, a gyrometer and an accelerometer instantly detect falls, excessively sudden movements or driving anomalies. A message is then sent to the user; if there is no response, the emergency services are notified with the location of the vehicle. The leaders of Yego hope to seduce the mayor of Paris. They are proud to have “Very few accidents and zero deaths”. And be very respectful “decent parking” (98%), thanks to the mandatory photograph at the end of the journey.

If selected, they commit to deploying in the inner suburbs, and not just west of Paris but “also in Seine-Saint-Denis” – in Saint-Denis or Saint-Ouen – the aim is to do so “cover the spaces of the Games” in 2024.

Source : Le JDD

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