Spark, a Lithuanian startup that is also present in Bulgaria, was launched officially in Romania on Wednesday. The company offers electric car rentals which are similar to electric scooter rentals, with payment by the minute. Users must install the app and upload the necessary documents (driver license, bank account), without the need of a deposit.
“We start today with 50 vehicles, which will be gradually integrated into the Spark mobile application. We offer our customers the top Nissan Leaf 40 as well as the Renault ZOE. Both cars have demonstrated their ability to navigate on urban streets, but have also been highlighted for the convenience provided to passengers traveling on long journeys. Our goal is to reach 100 vehicles in the next few months, which can provide over 200 km of autonomy in a single charge,” said Iordan Tonchev, general manager of Spark Car Sharing SRL, who will coordinate the company’s activities locally.
The prices are RON 1.20 per minute for Renault ZOE and RON 1.40 per minute for the Nissan Leaf 40 premium model.
Spark customers are allowed to travel 150 km per day with a maximum price cap of RON 215/24 hours for Zoe and RON 260 for Leaf, and will have to pay an additional charge of RON 0.75/km for ZOE and RON 0.85/km for Nissan Leaf when they go over the distance limit. The minimum rental time is 12 minutes and there is no maximum use. Bear in mind that if the car leaves Bucharest, you won’t be allowed to stop the trip until the car is returned to the city. For comparison, an electric scooter is rented for RON 0.5 or 0.6 per minute.
The cars can be found in Spark’s special areas which currently cover most of the city’s main points, such as Union Square, Roman Square, North Railway Station, Cotroceni, Izvor Park, Parliament Palace, Obor Square, Iancului Square, Dristor and many other central areas. Spark’s rental model does not require users to bring back the cars they have taken to the same place, but leave them in any of the parking areas indicated on the app.
What you need before you use SPARK services:
- The “Spark – Your Electric Drive” app, downloadable from Google Play or the App Store;
- A valid driving license (mandatory to have at least one year of driving experience);
- An active payment account.
Once all documents and user information are validated (the driver license is checked with the Police), the user can search for cars located in the nearest SPARK area indicated on the map.
Spark’s Romania manager, Jordan Tonchev, says that customer information is secured by a GDPR team, and the data is stored on the Amazon Europe servers (located in Europe).