WeMo electric scooters
This week I finally tried the WeMo electric scooter service for the first time.
WeMo is a stationless rental scooter, it is basically the “oBike” concept applied for electric scooters.
You need a scooter? You find one nearby on the map, take it, ride where you want and leave the scooter on any scooter parking spot when you’re done.
I love the concept, and I feel it could improve a lot of things if it is used on a large scale.
Anyway. First things first, creating an account. That one made me postpone more than once, because you need to provide many documents:
– ARC (or ID)
– Driving license (it is a green plate so a car driving license is ok, I used my taiwanese car license to register, please comment if you succeded to register with an international car license, that would be sweet if they are accepted)
– Picture of yourself
– Credit card information. There are 2 payment types, either direct transaction from your credit card, or you can load some money into some WeMo wallet, and then use that money little by little as you use WeMo scooters.
After 1 working day I got an email saying my account was ready and I could start using the service.
Using WeMo app to do everything
Using the app, you see where scooters are and you can book one, or just walk to it and start using it.
I have used WeMo scooters 4 times in total. Every time the scooter was extremely new and in great quality: the 4 different scooters that I got didn’t have more than 250km mileage in total.
I have read some bad reviews in the WeMo app reviews where people complained about the quality of some scooters. Before any ride, better check the scooter, the general condition, the brakes, etc. In my case all was really new and good.
You control everything through the app.
– Opening the trunk (there are 2 helmets inside)
– Starting the rental
– Stopping the scooter (once it’s “started” it’s ready to accelerate any time you turn the throttle. “Stopping the scooter” is equivalent to shutting down the engine on a gas scooter.
– Returning the scooter: stops the renting and ends the ride.
Once you open the trunk using the app, you find 2 helmets inside (one is half dome helmet for the passenter, and another one is a little bigger, covering the ears and has a wind protector, more suitable for the rider).
There is also a few disposable fabric papers that you can put in the helmet if you care about hygiene.
The scooter is pretty much like a normal gas scooter. It has the same controls, brakes, lights.
It is quite lighter overall, very comfortable to ride alone, and requires a little bit of skills for riding slow speed with a passenger, but that’s also true for regular scooters.
Once started, it is just like a normal scooter, the controls are the same: throttle, breaks, lights, direction lights.
The max speed i got was a steady 54km/h on flat. Not very fast but I was not slower than the average riders on the road.
The autonomy if the battery is 100% when you take it is about 45km. You can see how much battery is left on each scooter on the smartphone app before you start the rental.
You can see how many remaining kilometers the scooter can ride at all times.
Also I noticed than when the scooter autonomy is going below 10km, the max speed is lower, about 38km/h and the acceleration is also weaker).
With 2 people on the scooter, the acceleration is still good and the top speed still above 50km/h even with 2 passengers.
Even though speeding is not recommended, I find that the top speed is slightly below what I would hope for. A few times, I wanted to overtake someone quickly, but I simply couldn’t. On my regular 125cc scooter, I can go faster for a few seconds in certain situations to safely take over, or avoid some danger. That’s something to consider, the riding habits are slightly different here.
As of November 2017:
– Initial price is 15NT for 6 minutes
– Next is 2.5NT per minute (99 seconds red light really suck, it would be neat if the price calculation did not count the stop time, specially as this is an electric scooter)
Out of the 4 rides I took, this is approximately the prices that I paid:
– 38NT for 4km distance in my first ride, because I took some time to explore the options
– 30NT for 4km (better luck at the red lights?)
– 60NT for 8km (Elephant Mountain to Nangang exhibition center).
– 23NT for 3 MRT stations late at night
In my opinion this is a good solution at night for a 5-15km distance when there are no more MRTs and you don’t want to pay 300+NT for a taxi.
After those rides I feel very happy that this solution exists. It completes the portfolio of transportation possibilities, and gives more freedom than MRT or bus.
It may not be something you want to use every day, but once in a while you need to go somewhere far from MRT stations, or you don’t want to take UBike for 30mn+ ride, well, if you have the app installed and the account already created, you can check if there’s a WeMo nearby.
Thank you for writing about Taipei’s only e-scooter share, WeMo Scooter. As an advocacy group for clean, sustainable transport, those of us with TEVA – Taiwan Electric Vehicles Association, are always keen to see the word get out about such options.