Bosch to incorporate electric van-sharing at hardware stores

Bosch is launching a new electric van-sharing service in December in partnership with toom, a subsidiary of the German retail group Rewe.

The van-sharing service will initially be offered in Germany, at five toom hardware stores in Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Troisdorf, and Freiburg. With more than 330 stores, toom is one of the leading providers in the German home-improvement industry.

“As a company committed to sustainability, we are always eager to constantly improve our contribution to environmental protection. We’re therefore very pleased that we can now offer our customers an eco-friendly way of taking their purchases home,” says Wolfgang Vogt, toom’s managing director for finance and personnel.

van-sharingAt these stores, charge spots are already in place for the small electric vans, which are provided by StreetScooter. Bosch supplies the powertrain components for these vehicles. Users will pay a flat hourly rate that includes mileage and battery recharging in a completely digital process, through use of an app.

Bosch is already well versed in the sharing services business, as demonstrated by Coup, its rental service for electric scooters. Since its launch in 2016, Coup has constantly expanded, and now has a fleet of 3,500 scooters in Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. In its Coup and van-sharing schemes, Bosch has opted exclusively for electrically powered vehicles.

“Bosch is growing with digital services for urban mobility. A service for sharing electric vans has huge potential for growth,” says Dr. Rainer Kallenbach, president of the Connected Mobility Solutions division at Bosch. “Fully electric driving is ideal for urban mobility – whether that means downtown delivery traffic or individual mobility in major cities.”

The company believes that shared electric vans have scope for application outside the hardware-store sector: if the new sharing service proves popular, Bosch plans to expand it to include other partners such as other toom stores, furniture stores, supermarkets, or electronics stores.