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Scooter firm Dott to launch electric bikes in Brussels
Electric scooter provider Dott is branching out into Brussels’ already competitive shared electric bike hire market, the firm has announced.
"Today, we have 3,000 scooters in Brussels and we will have 2,000 bikes by the end of the year," said Marien Jomier, managing director of Dott Belgium. "We need to offer real multimodality. Today, we are trying to combat both pollution and street congestion. The scooter is part of the answer, the electrically assisted bicycle is another."
The bikes are all brand-new and are already warehoused in Brussels. Some 150 of them have been deployed so far, each of them having averaged more than three trips on their first day, which Dott considers a good start.
"There are currently six operators in Brussels as the city is a fairly free market and it is easy to jump in as a new operator so the field is crowded,” said Clara Philippot, Dott manager for Brussels. “In terms of bicycles, we will see what happens but it is clear that Billy Bike and Villo are strong competitors.”
Villo has recently been having problems with its electric batteries as their supplier has had to suspend deliveries. Villo hopes to have this solved by the start of the next quarter. As for Billy Bike, the Belgian start-up with 670 bikes in Brussels, its chief executive remains optimistic despite the arrival of this new competitor.
"Two years ago Uber arrived in our market with 3,000 bikes. We were very scared," said Pierre Schaetzen, chief executive of Billy. “After all, it is the largest mobility company in the world. But actually, a few months following the arrival of Uber, our figures doubled.
“Now, we are much more serene. We have the strength that comes from being a local operator. In the end, the biggest challenge for us is not to differentiate ourselves from our competitors but, to grow the market and put more people on bikes rather than in their cars, stuck in traffic.”