If you thought your days of zooming about your neighborhood ended when you graduated middle school, think again. Here to prove that there is indeed a renaissance of two-wheeled vehicles (and not of the bicycle or motorcycle variety) is the escooter. It’s all thanks to LimeBike, a company that was initially dedicated to bringing bike-sharing to all corners of the U.S. But now, it’s expanding into other transportation options as well, and you better believe that includes electric scooters.
These scooters, called Lime-S, can go up 14.8 miles per hour and have a maximum range of 37 miles on a single charge. As far as pricing is concerned, you’ll need to pay $1 to unlock the scooter, and an additional $1 for every 10 minutes of riding. So if you’re looking to spend, say, an hour on a Lime-S, be prepared to shell out a grand total of $7 (not bad, if we do say so ourselves). Interestingly, LimeBike says that these scooters were all built in-house, rather than relying on a third-party manufacturer to provide the gear. That means that if something should go wrong with any Lime-S, LimeBike should be able to get things fixed quite efficiently.
But why would a bike-sharing company look to diversify its portfolio in such a manner? As LimeBike CEO Toby Sun told TechCrunch, “This is an exciting and competitive landscape. What you are beginning to see is that some players in the bike-share industry will not make it because of a lack of funding and operational excellence.”
It’s unclear as of yet where the new Lime-S scooters will launch, but the company does say that it’s having conversations with “a number of cities.” The company has been testing its new fleet as part of a sanctioned pilot program for the last couple months in hopes of becoming “the leading smart mobility solution provider” both in the U.S. and abroad.
Late last year, LimeBike began operating in Europe, launching 500 bikes in two major markets — Frankfurt, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland. The company has also just debuted its electric-assist bike fleet in Seattle. In total, the company says that it has deployed 30,000 bikes, and seen one million passengers take rides across its 33 markets.
As Sun noted, “the multi-modal mobility solution also helps to meet the various needs of that first and last mile transportation challenge.” And scooters may just be the secret sauce we’ve all been looking for.