Sharing Scooter start-ups Lime, Bird and others are barely a year old, yet have spread to hundreds of cities, provided millions of rides, and are valued at billions of dollars.
Lime is bringing its electric kick-scooters to Christchurch and Auckland (and maybe Wellington) any day now, while extant bike sharing company Onzo is set to add electric kick-scooters and e-bikes to its fleet too. Onzo has around 1,500 pedal bikes in Auckland, and had provided 100,000 rides by July 2018.
To get a feeling for the exponential rate of growth these ventures are undergoing, according to The Verge, Lime turned 1 year old in July 2018 and hit 6 million rides that month. By October rides were at 12 million. Lime’s main competitor Bird claimed 10 million rides as it turned 1 year old in September 2018, on scooters deployed across 100 cities.
Sharing scooters are now competing with ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft in major cities worldwide, so it is no surprise those companies are investing in or launching their own scooters in some places. In July, Uber and Alphabet invested US$335 million in Lime. Bird recently became the fastest startup to achieve a $2 billion valuation. And to further compete more directly against Uber and Lyft, Bird has just announced it will start delivering scooters to peoples houses.
Traditional pedal bike sharing schemes are also under threat, according to a separate article in The Verge:
Lime says dockless electric vehicles get people to where they’re going a lot faster than pedaling with a traditional bike, too. Electric scooters will get you there 22 percent faster, while electric-assisted bikes will get you there 21 percent faster, according to the company’s research.
When coupled with public transportation, bike-sharing costs about 80 percent less than owning a car, according to Lime, which has made it a popular transit option among people in low-income brackets. In Washington, DC, for example, Lime says it has seen a 20 percent increase of rides on dockless vehicles from people who earn less than $35,000 a year, while usage of docked bikes has remained flat.
In a short period of time commuters, pedestrians and councils have had to both embrace and contend with a significant disruption to the status quo. Ride sharing companies took more than five years to spread and impact cities worldwide, while scooter sharing is having a similar impact in just a year.
To improve safety for riders and pedestrians, geo-speedlimiting is being rolled out in certain areas of some towns in USA. In deals with local governments these companies are sharing anonymised data about routes travelled and volumes of rides taken.
In short order, sharing in its many forms has become the new normal. Segway New Zealand predicts that self-balancing personal transporters will begin to replace a portion of kick scooters within a year, and account for about a third of personal devices being shared within three years. This is because they’re more enjoyable, comfortable and better suited overall for many people in some environments and routes (they just don’t know it yet).
The benefits of sharing scooters, or owning your own e-scooter appear compelling.
Ownership is almost always better for those who commute the same route most days. The Ninebot by Segway ES2 model of KickScooter has not only been the prime choice of of e-scooter used by Lime and Bird, but it is also New Zealand’s best-selling model to consumers who want to buy their own.
Buy the Ninebot by Segway ES2 for just $1,195 direct from Segway New Zealand 0800 2 SEGWAY or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or from retailers nationwide including Bike Barn.
Before you buy a Ninebot by Segway ES2 online be sure to ask the seller if they obtain the item they are selling to you from Segway New Zealand, or if instead they are a grey-market importer who is imported unauthorised (and possibly fake) items. This is an important question because Segway New Zealand does not warrant or support devices that it has not imported, sorry. Why does this matter to you? The Controller Board/Main Board inside every ES2 is security coded to the serial number of the KickScooter, and we cannot program new Boards to serial numbers that we have not imported. Without a functioning Board all you’ll be left with is a plain old mechanical KickScooter to kick around town on.