Lime, the light electric vehicle sharing company, has announced plans to enter the car-sharing market with its pilot program, LimePod. The news came as part of a celebratory announcement that the company had surpassed 2 million rides on Lime smart pedal and e-assist bikes in Seattle alone, and 20 million worldwide.
This past July, Lime received a whopping 335 million dollars in funding from big name investors, most notably Uber and Google’s Alphabet. “This industry is important for society,” Lime co-founder Toby Sun told WIRED. “It’s green, it’s reducing congestion, pollution—everything.” And while the Californian startup is making big strides with its electric scooters and bike programs in cities around the world, it seems that it won’t stop there.
According to the company’s website, the LimePod program is “currently available to a limited audience in Seattle, with a larger rollout planned for 2019.” Starting with 500 electric cars, at a price of $1 to unlock and $0.40 per minute to use, the company is set to launch itself into the car-sharing market. The car-sharing service works in the same way as its other programs, with free-floating vehicles within the designated service area.
DriveNow and Car2Go will be Lime’s biggest competition in Seattle, with both companies already providing free-floating car-sharing services. So it’s curious to see Lime entering the mix. In fact, the trend seems to be the other way around: while Lime is looking into car-sharing, other major carmakers and companies are making moves into Lime’s territory of light electric vehicles. Namely, Daimler’s Mytaxi is reportedly looking into electric kick-scooters and both GM and Tesla are exploring the possibilities of e-bikes. No matter what, we look forward to a plethora of e-mobility options on the horizon.