Mobility companies are tripping over themselves to get to the electric scooter market first as customers around the world continue to put new personal electric vehicles to the test. First, we had electric mobility companies Bird and Lime tripping up city residents and each other as they flooded unprepared city streets with their electric scooters.
Fast forward a few months and now Uber is looking to get into the game by building its own electric scooters, according to a new report by Bloomberg. The company is looking to flesh out its portfolio of mobility solutions with recently acquired Jump Bikes and a new electric scooter that it is reportedly building in-house.
The development of the new electric scooter is being led by Jump Bikes in a push to keep up with the epidemic-like propagation of Bird and Lime into cities, college campuses, and corporate campuses around the world.
We took Bird’s scooters out for a spin around urban Los Angeles, and while the convenience was nice, paying $2 to ride .7 miles on a $300 scooter seems like a financial equation that many will simply opt to solve with a purchase rather than a daily rental, especially considering how portable most electric scooters are.
Either way, the team at Uber’s Jump Bikes is hard at work in its San Francisco warehouse on what it believes is the next big thing — electric Uber scooters.
Uber ride-hailing competitor Lyft is also looking to get into the game through an acquisition of the bike-sharing company Motivate, though it has not announced similar plans to get into the electric scooter game…yet. With so much venture capital money being thrown into connected, on-demand emobility, it’s no wonder the big boys are looking to throw their weight around to maintain a firm grip on emobility.
They may not realize what they’re getting into just yet, as owning and managing a fleet of company-owned bikes and electric scooters is quite different than simply managing a set of drivers and not having to pay a cent to take car of the car itself. Time will tell how this pans out, but it is simply the latest in what is sure to be quite the encyclopedia covering urban mobility as startup after startup looks to change the way people get around this crazy planet using battery power and electric motors instead of dead dinosaur juice.
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