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Hardware Revolution for E-Scooters

Tier, Voi, Uber, and Lyft are driving the hardware revolution for scooters, presenting more rugged scooters on the market to improve the unit economy under fleet operation in the sharing services [1 – 4].

Tier, collaborating with their partner Okai, has adopted a modular design to provide different customized models to different markets in accordance with local regulations [1]. Similar steps have been taken by Voi, the Swedish scooter entrepreneur, with the aim to improve the uptime of their fleet [2]. Tier is also keen to position themselves as a micromobility provider, which implies its ambition to include other types of vehicles into its service [1]. 

Lyft and Uber also introduced their new and robust scooters during last week, only two days apart. Uber-owned JUMP came up with a second-generation version scooter that is bigger and has a more durable frame. The new scooters are going to show up in US cities on the 24th of June and will travel across the Atlantic to Europe “later this summer” according to Uber [3]. Lyft presented its pink-wheeled scooters right after Uber’s unveiling. This new model has a handbrake that stops both wheels, a wider base and a more powerful battery. The scooter also has pink wheels, in the same spirit as Lyft’s bikes [4].

 

Personal comments

The scooter fashion is spreading, and more and more actors are coming up with new models with catchy looks. However, the ideas are pretty similar: a more robust frame, a more powerful battery and a more stable base. Besides, the reason behind the new designs is pretty similar for the companies as well: to achieve a longer lifespan. Yet, we have not received any solid numbers regarding how much longer the scooters can last since the numbers reported in March from Louisville, Kentucky, which detailed an average scooter lifespan of just 28 days.

Rising with the micromobility hype, scooter actors seem to see beyond the scooter service rides they are offering and focus on the mobility that they provide. Personally, I do not see scooters as a replacement for cars, but more like a complement to enable car-free travel by providing transport alternatives for the first and last miles. Perhaps with this push from eager scooter actors, we are getting one step closer to achieve a more sustainable mobility system.   

 

Written by Anne Faxér, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2019-06-05. Tier, the Berlin-based e-scooter rental startup, unveils new hardware and announces it’s reached 2M rides.

2. 2019-05-14. Voi unveils ‘longer-lasting’ e-scooters designed to withstand rentals, and launches its first e-bikes.  

3. 2019-06-12. Uber’s new shared scooter is bigger, tougher, and stops faster.

4. 2019-06-14. Lyft introduced pink-wheeled scooter that it says is better for scooter sharing.