Bosch is collaborating with toom to launch an electric van sharing service at German hardware stores. toom sells home improvement products and supplies, so the idea is to place electric vans at some of them to provide on-demand personal transportation for customers. Caroline Reichert, head of connected mobility solutions for EVs at Bosch, answered some questions about the program for CleanTechnica.
Why is Bosch launching a sharing program for electric vans?
Car sharing has long ceased to be a niche market, as indicated by the sector’s rapid growth: by 2025, the market is projected to have as many as 36 million users worldwide (source: Frost & Sullivan). More and more users, especially in big cities, are taking advantage of app-based services to reserve a vehicle at any time, day or night, then climb right in and drive off.
Are you launching in partnership with toom? Is the idea that toom customers might need a van to transport their home-related materials?
Yes, the idea is that customers of the hardware stores need vans with sufficient space to carry heavy and bulky purchases like stone slabs, balcony plants, and paint pots.
Why electric vans?
Fully electric driving is ideal for urban mobility – whether that means downtown delivery traffic or individual mobility in major cities.
How many vans are you starting with?
It is planned to start with one electric van at each of the five hardware stores. Depending on the demand we will plan additional vehicles together with toom.
Where are you sourcing the vans?
The electric vans are provided by StreetScooter. Bosch supplies the powertrain components for these vehicles.
Do you know yet what the hourly rate will be?
The hourly rate will be 12,99 € or 14,99 € – depending on if you own a toom customer card or not.
Can customers rent a van from their phones?
Yes, renting is possible via app.
Does the rental include vehicle insurance?
Yes. The hourly rate includes insurance and charging.
Will the vans only be available in Germany?
Yes, at this point in time Bosch and toom will just offer the service in Germany at five selected hardware stores. If the new sharing service proves popular, Bosch plans to expand it to include other partners, whether these be other toom stores, furniture stores, supermarkets, or electronics stores.
Image Credit: Bosch