E-Scooters in Hamburg
Since 15 June, 2019 electric scooters are admitted to participate in German traffic. The city of Hamburg has cooperated with private providers to bring the first rental scooters on the bike lanes of the city.
From traffic rules for users to sharing offers and current providers - read everything you need to know about the latest addition to modern traffic solutions.
Who is eligible to use an electric scooter?
Electric scooters may be used from the age of 14. Sharing providers rent out scooters to users 18 and older. Scooters may not be used by more than 1 person. Parents may not take children with them.
What do you need to keep in mind?
The eKFV act regulates the legal framework for the use of e-scooters. People planning to purchase one of these vehicles must mind that: electric scooters must be conducted at a speed between 6 and 20 km/h. They need to possess a brake rod, brakes on both wheels, reflectors, and a set of head-and rear lights. Proper insurance is mandatory, insurance status must be indicated through an appropriate license plate. Helmets are not mandatory. In traffic, rules for bicycles apply. As a result, driving on pedestrian ways or the wrong side of the road is prohibited.
Sharing providers and costs in Hamburg
Currently there are four different sharing providers. Two further companies are expected to enter the market in the near future. The city of Hamburg and providers have agreed on a maximum of 1000 scooters in the inner city per business. Furthermore certain areas are defined where parking scooters is prohibited, in order to avoid flooding of the city centre.
Current providers in Hamburg are Circ, TIER and VOI. Each have a maximum weight of 100kg per scooter. Lime offers heavier scooter weighing 150kg. The renting process costs 1€ for all four providers. Additional costs are 0,15€ (VOI), 0,19€ (TIER) and 0,20€ (LIME and Circ) per minute or part thereof. Most scooters are located in the city centre. VOI provides additional vehicles in the neighbourhoods of Berne and Poppenbüttel.
VOI plans to provide online offers for correct and safe usage of electric scooters. See the website for the most important tips.
How do sharing offers work?
Scooters can be rented via the app of any given provider. An online smartphone is needed as well as a credit card (Circ,TIER and VOI). Lime offers additional payment methods Paypal and Apple Pay. Maps in the app show locations of vacant scooters ready for rent. Scooters can be unlocked via apps and are ready to use subsequently.
What’s important during return?
In cooperation with providers, the city has defined no-drop zones. Scooters may not be returned in these areas. These maps are colour-coded in the apps. Find a map showing these areas below the article. These zones are green or extremely busy areas, as well as locations in direct proximity to water.
This requires users to return scooters in a location where they won’t interfere with other traffic participants. In these locations, the scooter may be returned via the according app. If scooters are left behind on bike lanes or pedestrian ways, they may be removed by the city. In this case, a removal fee applies, to be paid in full by the responsible perpetrator.
During nights, scooters are collected and recharged. They are redistributed across the city in the morning.