The big question for now is the survival of the Electric Kick Scooter sharing ride in urban and suburban areas. It is evident that e-scooters is a win-win solution for the metropolis setting as micro-mobility solution, an answer to traffic congestion, noise pollution, parking woes, and the emission of greenhouse gases. The deployment of these equipment will solve the first mile and last mile problems of commuters.
The First Mile and Last Mile Concern of Commuters
Not everybody lives by the hub of mass transportation. The hub means bus terminals, train depots, and subway stations that serve the inhabitants for mass transit. Commuters have to deal with first mile to reach the hub to go to their point of destination. Then they have to forego the last mile after getting off the hubs to go home. Hailing a cab for the first and last mile is a bit expensive. This is where micro mobility plays its role to serve commuters. Bird, Lime, Spin, Lyft Jump and other electric scooter shared rides companies are working to get the market. The system would extend its services to the passengers dealing with the predicament of the first and last mile issues.
Electric Scooter Restrictions
Since electric scooters are ruled under city regulations, administrations limit its operations thereby minimizing the full service potential it could render to the community. The e-scooter’s survival is at stake with all the prohibitions by the laws that govern its usage. Yet, the e-scooter shared rides business flourished even under the scrutiny of transport authorities to satisfy city rules of the system. Nevertheless, the public accepted the e-rides as they deem necessary for their required transport to and from their destination.
The deployment of hundreds of electric scooters in metropoles never escaped the interest of venture capitalists. CEOs saw the opportunity of a lucrative investment and immediately hopped on the bandwagon to get a piece of the pie. Why won’t they? They just witnessed an e-scooter company rise to a billion dollar valuation in just a matter of 14 months of operation.
Funds poured in like crazy as the future seems bright for the electric scooter shared rides business. Bird got a $415 million round of funding to move further up the ladder and deliver better and effective services to its customers. Its first step is to manufacture its own electric scooters and stop buying from its original Chinese manufacturer, Ninebot. This company bought Segway, the company that accused Ninebot of infringement of its patent. The innovation in question is the electric, self-balancing signature two wheeled scooter.
Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden implied that they will be phasing out the Bird Zero models, the first fleet of electric scooters in their shared ride business. While the Xiaomi M365 units will remain for monthly rentals only. The Bird One will be the new company carrier for the shared rides venture. The new units are upgraded than the previous models. Bird Zero lasted for ten months in the field while Bird One has a life expectancy up to 12 months of use. The shared business economics of the e-scooter leans much on the longevity of the equipment in productive operation.
Bird One will also be up for sale for those individual riders yearning to own their private e-rides. The starting price for the Bird One is $1,299 per unit, $50 dollars lesser than Bird Zero although its a far better vehicle than the latter. VanderZanden claims that the Bird One electric scooter is double the capacity of the batteries of other models at 473Wh. The power pack allows the e-ride a 30 mile travel distance on a single charge of five hours. Upgrade features include an anti-theft GPS device, 9-inch pneumatic tires, and a digitized lock that can be opened or closed from the downloaded Bird app at the user’s smartphone. Additional upgrades include a top speed of 19 mph with a maximum carrying capacity up to 220 pounds.
Bird Platform for Entrepreneurs
Last March 2019, Bird launched its program to help entrepreneurs manage their own fleet of electric scooters called the Bird Platform. The program will start with Canada, New Zealand, and Latin America. Bird will power local entrepreneurs and brought the shared electric scooters to these regions and their communities.
Bird electric scooter company has a goal to make metropoles a better place to live in by limiting the use of fossil fueled cars, traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and the problems of parking. The Bird Platform will allow operators to acquire Bird scooters at cost and guide its business partners the direction of their businesses with the best tools, products, and technology of international standards for effective management. In return, the operators will remit 20% service fee of the total rental rate each ride the Bird Platform operator serves.
Bird Cruiser; The Latest Addition to the Fleet
The Bird Cruiser will roll out this summer and will be available to Bird Platform partners. The new innovation is a two seater electric scooter that looks like a combination of a motor bike and a moped. This beautifully designed electric scooter will form part of the entrepreneur’s fleet deployment designed and engineered in California. The model has hydraulic disc brakes powered by a 52V battery. An LCD Matrix Display is available that will contain information power consumption and speed.
In connection with the goals of the Bird electric scooter company, the Cruiser is an addition to the line of micro mobility electric equipment that will replace cars and other fossil fueled vehicles in the future. However, Bird is not the only hi-tech electric scooter company that has plans for these e-vehicles. Uber and Lyft are also expanding and upgrading their micro mobility portfolio. The companies also offer their services to commuters using their e-vehicles and their apps.
Despite the city restrictions vested on the electric scooter shared ride economy, the business prevailed. Yes, the electric scooter shared rides operations will survive. It is the ultimate solution for the problems faced in urban cities. The future may introduce us to other micro mobility solutions but for now, this is the answer for this era.
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