Transport App Bolt Wants People to Break Up With Their Cars

We’ve all seen those movie montages that show heartbroken characters as they mope around doing something aimlessly while a slow, sad song plays over just to reiterate that they aren’t happy after a fight with their one true love.

Well, in the month of February, international tech company Bolt has produced a campaign replicating exactly that vibe as it aims to recognize the long-term relationships that car owners have had with their vehicles until they “broke free” and turned to fossil-free transportation instead.

The company, which through its app offers rental of mopeds, scooters and e-bikes internationally with the aim to lower car use and carbon emissions, is promoting the message of living a happier, car-free existence by concentrating on several “real” stories told through a minutelong online film.

Bolt is the largest provider of micro-mobility in Europe with a fleet of around 10,000 electric scooters and bikes in Berlin alone. The company claims to have more than 100 million customers in more than 45 countries around the world.

“Break Up to Break Free” was created by the company’s in-house team by the mobility app, which allows people to rent scooters and e-bikes to offer a more sustainable mode of transport around towns.

Liisa Ennuste, the campaign’s lead creative strategist, highlighted the sentimental value placed by people on their cars, with around half of the owners giving it a gender and a third giving it a name.

“Unfortunately, our internally combusting partners can be expensive for us, as well as not being great for our cities—creating congestion, pollution and taking up around 50% of our city space that could be used for people or other, more sustainable modes of transport,” she continued.

“We know that for many people, the idea of getting rid of their car might feel unrealistic, which is exactly why we wanted to showcase the experiences of real people and their very real breakup stories. It turns out that life doesn’t only go on, but it gets better.”

The stories around each of the breakups have also been published on Bolt’s campaign website.

The campaign will run for around two months across social with some influencer content with the aim of reaching the U.K., Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Croatia, France and Malta.

According to a survey of scooter riders, released by Bolt in January that involved around 7,000 participants, Bolt scooters helped replace more than 20 million car kilometers (the distance driven by private cars as well as taxi/ride-hailing) in 17 countries last year.  It estimates that this equated to more than 2.4 million kg of CO2 emissions.


Creative: Bolt
Photo: Alina Birjuk
Edit: Albert Banaszczak
Music: Anett