Lime and Spin have deployed their own electric scooters in San Francisco at about the same time. By June, the city of San Francisco had temporarily parked electric scooters until their application for permission was reviewed. As part of the new law that came into effect on June 4, the electric scooters company cannot operate their services in San Francisco without a license.
Currently, 12 companies (including Uber/Jump, Lyft, Skip, Spin, Lime, Scoot, Ofo, Skip, Razor, CycleHop, USSCooter, and Ridecell) have applied for a license in San Francisco, but in a 24-month pilot program In China, the San Francisco Transport Agency (SFMTA) will issue licenses for no more than five companies. The plan only allows 2,500 electric scooters to go on the road, but it is not yet clear how many scooters each company will be allowed to deploy.
Uber and Lyft are expected to enter the market for electric scooters, as Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahir announced in April that he was bullish on electric scooters. Lyft has reportedly been negotiating its licensing procedures with the San Francisco Transportation Agency (SFMTAA). But last week, both companies filed formal applications and recently announced a public transport integration strategy, apparently scrambling to become a one-stop service for all transport needs.
The San Francisco Transport Agency (SFMTA) stated that its goal is to notify companies of their license application status by the end of June. If licensed, these companies must pay $25,000 per year for licensing fees and $10,000 for public property repairs and maintenance. In addition, these companies must also share travel data with the City of San Francisco.
However, San Francisco's electric scooters ban has little effect on its overall status. Just last week, millions of dollars were injected into electric scooter companies like Bird and Lime. Bird approved a new round of 200 million U.S. dollars financing plan, which will bring Bird's valuation to 1 billion U.S. dollars. Bird's competitor Lime will also raise 250 million U.S. dollars.
Figure 1: You can see the contrast between the new players in the picture, of course, this is only those companies that deploy electric scooters in the United States.
California is the main hot spot for the deployment of electric scooter in the United States, but this new type of transportation also appears in Texas, Washington, DC, North Carolina and other states in the United States. Unsurprisingly, regulation has proved to be a big problem for many of these companies. In San Francisco, the Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is reviewing the license application for electric scooter companies operating in the city. In March of this year, three companies including Bird, Lime, and Spin, deployed unlicensed electric scooters in the city, leading to the review process.
In Austin, GOAT, an electric scootering startup, said it is working with the city to ensure that its services meet the standards set by regulators. Looking ahead, GOAT stated that it is actively cooperating with other cities and seeking more operating licenses. In Washington, DC, Skip took more aggressive steps to make itself look different. The company is negotiating with government officials and parliamentarians to ensure that the service is licensed before it is launched.
Figure 2: Distribution of Electric Scooters in the United States
Outside the United States, the company is considering deploying electric scooters in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, collectively known as EMEA. In February, Bird hired Patrick Studenera, a former Uber international growth product manager, to head Bird's EMEA, Studener LinkedIn reported. Earlier this week, the media also found that the company was recruiting a European general manager to take charge of market management.
At the same time, sources confirmed that the Lime electric scooters appeared on the streets of Zurich, Switzerland. As it turns out, Lime is working with the local municipal government to work on pilot projects for some private companies.
Create electric scooters
Many companies do not actually build their own electric scooters. Instead, they only put their own logos and logos on scooter cars that have existed for many years. Lime, Bird, and Spin all use Ninebot's scooter, a Chinese scooter company that merged with Segway. Ninebot has the support of investors such as Sequoia Capital, Xiaomi and Shunwei. But Lime, Skip, Spin, and Bird are all seeking change.
Last month, Toby Toby, CEO of the next generation electric scooter, said last month that the Segway powered Lime scooters will be safer, more durable and have a longer life. In line with the requirements of the sharing economy. Now the lime scooter's maximum travel distance is no longer about 37 kilometers, but can reach 56 kilometers. "in the past, many of the features of electric scooters were designed for the consumer market and were not suitable for shared high-load markets," Sun said.
New electric scooters developed by Lime and Segway
Bird is also experimenting with many new scooter models, but they seem to have modified the version of the Segway ES2. When the reporter sought to comment, Bird said there was not much detail to provide. At the same time, Skip plans to build its own electric scooters, but it aims to transform the Speedway Mini4 63V scooter.
Skip's Scooter Deck
Spin does plan to build its own scooter, but is not ready to release details. Euwyn Poonon, chief executive, said the company had established production lines and supply chains for custom scooters. GOAT, on the other hand, intends to take a cooperative route, using Segway scooters from the start and labeling itself.
Jennifer Whitaker, co-founder of GOAT, said in an email: "this decision is based not only on the Segway's high quality scooters, but also on its ability to maintain that quality. Also based on our ability to work alongside Segway teams in Changzhou and Austin, China. We think it's important to focus on what we're best at, which means that Segway produces better electric scooters, and we focus on them.DevelopmentTechnology for the world to solve the problem of mobility. ”
New business opportunities
Just as Uber and Lyft have created new jobs for online applications, electric scooters seem to be doing the same. At the San Francisco Public Hearing in March, companies spoke about how their services can create jobs for low-income groups. Considering that each company's electric scooters need to be recharged, they need someone to collect the scooters each night and charge them, and then put them in a convenient place the next morning.
For example, Lime has his own "Juicer program." Bird has a Charger program, Spin has a Squad program, and Skip has a street team charger. Spin pays $5 for each scooter and Bird pays $5 to $25, depending on how difficult it is for people to find a scooter. Lime pays up to $12 based on the location of the scooter.
In March, Harry Campbell, who recorded his feeling of making extra money for Bird as an electric scooter charger, said he was happy with his job and that many people were willing to do such "hands-on" part-time work.
Scooter parking lot
Austin Scooter Parking
Looking into the future , companies are looking for ways to mitigate the effects of sidewalk congestion , which is always the biggest concern for urban residents and legislators . In March , the San Francisco police chief , Jane Kim , said she didn ' t plan to grant permits unless the city government could think of a better way to stop the scooter . At that time , the San Francisco Transportation Agency ( SFMTA ) said the company had the responsibility to ensure proper docking and would like to work with each company around the process .
But in Austin, the city has taken the initiative. In May this year, the city passed new regulations requiring passengers to park in designated areas. This decision was inspired by some of the actions taken by Seattle. Of course, every city will be regulated in the way they think it is the best. But these designated scooter parking lots do appear to be a reliable way to ensure that people are not tripped by the scooter on the roadside.
In addition to finding ways to handle the parking of scooters, companies must also worry about public property and theft. Before the temporary ban was issued in San Francisco, people could often see graffiti, wire cuts, or dismembered scooter parts on a scooter. Of course, the company will be responsible for such things and will pay close attention. Lime said that their lost and damaged scooter has less than 1% impact on the entire market.