The Electric Scooter Rebound

The nascent electric scooter rental industry came close to total collapse during the pandemic, but riders are back in bigger numbers than ever and the companies hope to build momentum on growing concerns about the climate impacts of transportation.

Read Time: 2 minutes

May 29, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A woman on an electric bike and two women on electric scooters wait at an intersection for the light to change.

Ralph Rozema / Shutterstock

Ridership of electric scooter rental services have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, riding a wave of interest built into the significant changes in daily routines since Spring 2020.

An article by Ira Boudway for Bloomberg describes the rebranding of electric scooter rental companies amidst the cultural shift, namely, that companies are framing their services as a key tool in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation industry.

Lime CEO Wayne Ting is quoted in the article saying the company should gain more transportation market share as “it becomes clear to people that replacing large, privately owned gas-powered cars with large, privately owned electric vehicles won’t be enough to address the climate crisis.”

Even without the cultural shift required to prove that prediction true, electric scooter rental companies are clearly rebounding from pandemic declines. According to the article, scooter companies were in financial dire straits at the outset of the pandemic, but they began to turn the tide in 2022, when loosening pandemic restrictions and new financial support provided a boon to the bottom line of scooter operations.

“The number of trips taken in the first three months of this year is up 75% over the same period last year, bringing the company roughly back to where it was in 2019, though those trips are spread over more cities. In March, Lime crossed 300 million cumulative trips worldwide,” according to Boudway.

More details of the current financial situation f Lime and Bird, and next steps for the companies, can be found in the source article below.

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