It’s a sad day for fans of COUP, the Bosch-owned electric scooter sharing service operating across a number of European cities.
The service is apparently shutting down operations in all of its locations.
That’s according to an email announcement we received from COUP.
As explained in the company’s email:
“Dear COUP Customer,
We have some sad news for you. We plan to discontinue our service in Berlin and Tübingen in by the middle of December 2019. It is also planned to close the COUP locations in Paris and Madrid.
We deeply regret this. Over the past three years, you and all the other COUP customers have remained loyal to us. We are proud to have been able to establish such a strong community in such a short period of time. Thank you for your loyalty, and thank you for using our service.”
COUP was first launched back in 2016 as a venture by Bosch. The sharing platform used electric scooters from Gogoro, the most popular electric scooters in Taiwan.
COUP did not provide a reason for its sudden and surprising announcement of closure, but the move seems to come at a time when the seated electric scooter sharing industry is expanding, not contracting.
Such scooters have long found favor in Europe where COUP operated but are now starting to penetrate the US market as well.
Companies like Revel are expanding at a blistering pace in the US, offering thousands of electric scooters as part of sharing programs similar to COUP’s. Unlike COUP though, Revel is using electric scooters provided by NIU, a Beijing-based electric scooter manufacturer that just yesterday announced the beginning of retails sales in the US.
Man, this is really a bummer. Services like COUP are important in a number of ways. Not only do they provide a low cost and environmentally friendly transportation alternative to traditional cars, but they also help introduce riders to the convenience of electric scooters, spurring electric scooter ownership as well.
And you don’t have to read my work long to know how strongly I feel about the benefits of personal electric vehicles replacing larger gas-powered cars.
I’d certainly be fascinated to hear what did COUP in, but they are remaining tight-lipped on that subject for now. Did funding run out? Did Bosch decide it wasn’t worth the hassle? Is the sharing concept flawed? As more scooter sharing companies enter the market, such issues will only receive increased scrutiny in the future.
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