The Global Popularity of Electric Scooters

From among a range of technologically advanced inventions, electric scooter remains a notable one. Despite the regulations, a couple of electric scooter companies including Lime and Bird launched their scooters in the local as well as international markets. While there are competitors in the industry as well, Bird and Lime are not the only companies in this business. However, these two managed to get over $400 million in funding and have gone international.

Lime, for example, recently launched several scooters in Madrid while Bird launched them in Paris. While the future seems great for electric scooters, the US regulation is a major obstacle at this point in time. Bird, Spin, and Lime introduced these scooters despite the regulations but cannot be seen anywhere in San Francisco today. Nevertheless, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is currently reviewing permit applications from about twelve electric scooter companies. The permits will allow the companies to introduce their scooters but there would be a limit on the quantity allowed on roads.

Out of 12, only five would get the permits and that too if SFMTA decides to grant permission in the first place. The decision is expected to be announced in August as SFMTA claimed to disclose the decision “in coming weeks”. Even if the permits are granted, the companies will have to set a privacy policy, offer user education and insurance, introduce a low-income plan and would be allowed to operate in specific areas only.

The introduction of electric scooters without permission led to strict warnings by the state. For example, Bird tried launching its scooters in Boston but the state immediately interfered and warned that any electric scooters found on roads would be impounded. While GOAT and other companies are trying to meet the state’s criteria for permits, Skip and Bird already got permits to operate in Portland.

Along with these competitors, transportation giants like Uber are also interested in this area and may prove to be a serious threat to Lime, Bird and other electric scooter operators. Whether any of them gets the permit or not is yet to be seen!