Bright sunshine, white sandy beaches and palm-edged serpentines really make a wonderful scenery. But rattling engines and ill-smelling exhaust fumes do not fit into this idyll – and are even strictly forbidden in some places. This is what Timo Bütefisch thought. The founder and CEO of Cooltra, Spain’s largest scooter renting agency, decided to integrate electric scooters in his vehicle fleet in 2012.
Although some may think that only residents and tourists make use of Cooltra’s services, Cooltra’s customers also include local administration and companies. The latter appreciate the high degree of economic efficiency of the electric scooters. For tourists first and foremost the driving pleasure scores while ensuring maximum safety – a central aspect for providers of renting services for liability reasons. Another highlight: Thanks to zero emission electric scooters may even be used in nature protection areas. These are thus the best preconditions for being able to explore the holiday destination at any time – comfortably, quickly and independently.
The Cooltra team is enthusiastic not only about the technical refinements of the GOVECS scooters. “When the idea of establishing a fleet of electric vehicles began to mature, I did not only look for a supplier, but rather for a long-term trustful partner”, says Timo Bütefisch. “We are working in this business for ten years now and we know perfectly well what we want to have. I could indeed imagine to switch over the entire Cooltra fleet to electric drive in the long run. And GOVECS is the ideal companion for that.”
Want to learn more about the cooperation of GOVECS and Cooltra? Then cast a glance at our interview with Timo Bütefisch:
What influenced your decision to go for GOVECS electric scooters?
We have been working on this market for ten years and we know what we want. It is the quality of the product in the first place, regarding both the components and the manufacture. quality and the price have to be in good proportions. However, the service aspect is also quite important. We need a long-term partner that is going to support us also in technical aspects. The fact that GOVECS is a manufacturer seated in Europe was also very important and decisive for us. Our experience with products originating from Asia were rather patchy. A European partner brings along many advantages. Just think of the time zone that is absolutely vital for a quick communication: You get a reply to any question within short and the delivery times of the scooters or the spare parts are considerably shorter.
Which models are being used at Cooltra and why?
As we have assumed that we provide scooters to many private customers, most of our GOVECS scooters are GO! S3.4. We also have the GO! T2.4 in our product range. We are highly satisfied with the quality of both models.
How exactly does the Cooltra business concept work?
We distinguish between two groups of customers in the rental business. On the one hand, there are the business customers and local administration. These are currently accounting for the largest share of our customers today. They conclude long-term contracts with a term of about two years and they are using the GOVECS scooters for instance for food delivery, transportation and courier services as well as local services.
The second group are the residents, students living or working near to a charging station. The universities, for instance, invested in the infrastructure, so that the students can charge the scooters during their lectures thus obtaining a fully charged scooter.
Which services are contained in the rental fee of Cooltra?
We are renting the scooters with the full service. A monthly fee includes a GPS Tracking Device, insurance, preventive maintenance, a mobility guarantee and replacement vehicles when the scooters are being serviced.
Tourists in Spain can rent the GOVECS scooters as well. How does that work?
Cooltra has its own offices in the Balearic Islands, in Menorca, Mallorca, Formentera and Ibiza as well as in the Canaries. In Formentera, currently 100 GOVECS scooters are under way. The scooters are rented to tourists there. The local administration heavily supports that, because it sees fauna and flora of the island taken care of. The government installed 25 charging stations in Formentera, so that the tourists are able to easily use the scooters.
What are the challenges that have to be faced in the rental business?
The major challenge is not to go to the beach every day. I am living in Barcelona for 15 years now. It really is not that easy to establish a business in a foreign country. However, it is Europe in the end and I am fluent in Spanish. Barcelona has the highest scooter density per resident. And of course the weather plays an important role here. In Helsinki it would be a bit more difficult to rent out scooters.
How would you describe the cooperation with GOVECS?
Our cooperation with GOVECS is very good and strong. GOVECS understands our business model and the chances resulting from the way in which we bring the GOVECS scooters to the market. GOVECS supports us in the various processes.
What does the future for Cooltra look like?
We will offer exactly those mobility solutions that the customers need. Some are still preferring petrol-powered scooters, but the share of electric vehicles is going to grow further. In ten years they might account for 100 percent.
We fully comply with the customers‘ wishes and are very flexible in terms of drafting contracts. Some want to pay a fee per use, some want to rent for three years. Cooltra makes it all possible.