Lime Bringing Electric Scooters to Paris
Looks like Paris is joining the scooter game. Lime is making its first big push into Europe, bringing hundreds of its dock-free electric scooters into the French capital starting Friday. There has been a vast increase in the popularity of electric scooters. Scooters, such as the Xiaomi Scooter, which is very similar to the lime scooter, are increasingly popular as a trendy yet efficient way to travel, especially in cities or built-up areas. This embracing of alternate modes of transportation is what is allowing the private sector to rapidly encroach on territory once dominated by the public sector – Read here for more.
The company said there will soon be thousands of the vehicles in Paris, where users will be able to use an app to find and unlock them. It costs $1.15 to unlock a scooter and $0.17 for every minute of riding.
The electric scooters will initially be deployed near the city center, expanding quickly to offer this exciting form of transportation to riders across the city.
Jacquier said Lime plans to launch in 26 European cities by year-end, but declined to specify in which countries.
Prices are comparable to the United States, where 1 million people already use Lime’s bike and scooter sharing services in cities such as Seattle, Dallas and Los Angeles. It also launched in Zurich, Switzerland, last week.
“What we’re proposing is a smart mobility solution that’s been missing here in Paris,” said Arthur-Louis Jacquier, Lime’s GM of French Operations. “Our electric scooters offer a riding experience that’s both more enjoyable and more practical than any other mode of urban transportation.” The company has announced that in later months they might be investing some cash to develop a kids electric scooter to compete with the adult model.
With problems continuing to hound the city’s dock-based bikeshare Vélib’ and Mayor Anne Hidalgo pushing for more green transportation alternatives, Paris is an ideal fit for Lime’s smart mobility platform.
All scooters will be picked up every night around 9 p.m. for recharging and repairs, said Jacquier, who was an executive with Gobee Bike, which earlier this year stopped its European bike sharing operations due to vandalism.
“Gobee was a good learning experience. Lime is very different. By picking up the scooters every night we will avoid problems with breakage,” he said.
In recent years, Paris has been a test bed for new mobility solutions, with several Chinese bike share operators and two electric motorbike schemes launching services in the French capital.