Let’s face the facts – as convenient as using a car is, being stuck in a traffic jam sucks. As do petrol and insurance costs. Then, there’s the issue of pollution and the black clouds of smog hanging over our cities for most of the year. Yeah, our relationship with cars is “complicated” at best. What if there was a simpler solution?
Blinkee is a Warsaw-based startup offering a quick and green shared transport solution. They have an impressive fleet (700!) of electric scooters available for short-term rent all over the city. The advantages of this solution are endless – it’s eco, fast, cheap, and super easy to use. What’s more – the scooters are produced here in Poland so it’s supporting local business!
The brains behind the project are brothers Marcin and Pawel Maliszewski, and their friend Kamil Klepacki. They met years ago while studying at the Military University of Technology. The brothers always wanted to set up their own business but to nothing came out of it. It’s only last year that the idea of Blinkee was born, and what a success it was! They started out with just 6 scooters; now their fleet is hundreds of vehicles! What makes this case even more impressive is that they built their company without any investors.
The scooters were specifically designed for the Blinkee system. If they were mass-produced, adapting the vehicles for this project would result in a mass of tangled wires. As it is, the “brain” and the electronics are neatly packed in a small box which connects to the scooter with only one plug.
The creators decided to invest in their own system because it gives them a greater influence over the functionalities. It’s no surprise they are already thinking about scaling their business. Thanks to the original electronic system, in the future it will be much easier to expand Blinkee’s offer to cars, as no other system available can work in both types of vehicles. Moreover, Blinkee’s solution proves to be cheaper, too.
The other crucial component was the battery – it had to be efficient, easily-replaceable and fast-charging. Since the EV charging stations are still hard to come by, the batteries installed in Blinkee scooters are being constantly monitored and recharged by a service team driving around city all day. The percent of power and the estimated time the scooter can drive for is also displayed in the app for the user to see.
Now that you know all about the technical details – how do you use Blinkee? Nothing simpler – first you create an account using the app and book a scooter to go wherever you want. You have 15 minutes to get to your vehicle. Once you’ve located it, use the app to unlock it. In the compartment you’ll find a helmet with a hygienic cap attached. Drive to your location and leave the scooter in a convenient spot. Hide the helmet, tap “end” in the app and… that’s it. You’ve just avoided traffic and helped the environment a bit!
The costs of using Blinkee is an incentive on its own, too – 0,69 PLN per minute (0,59 if you’re a student), with the stoppage of only 0,09 PLN per minute. The most you will pay per day is 69 PLN – less than it’d cost you to refuel your car.
So far Blinkee is available in Warsaw, Poznań, the Tricity and Kraków. Soon, they’re expanding to Lublin, Łódź, Wrocław, Kołobrzeg and Zielona Góra. But that’s not all – you can even sightsee Budapest and Valencia on Blinkee’s scooters.
We hope to see them in every city around the world very soon! Keep your fingers crossed!