As you had probably imagined, dozens of electric scooter companies weren’t going to be able to exist in unison forever. As more companies begin to join forces, the latest news shows Wheels’ seated electric scooters hopping in bed with Lime.
Wheels’ electric scooters have a major advantage over Lime’s (and other companies’) electric scooters: they’re seated.
That means they look more like a traditional bicycle, which most people are familiar with. In fact, the scooters combine the electric bicycle format that so many riders love with the scooter format that is a simpler, easier, and cheaper product to produce and maintain.
The seated position offered by the Wheels scooters feels more comfortable and stable to many riders, as compared with standing scooters that can feel twitchier and less comfortable over longer distances or at higher speeds.
The Wheels electric scooters also have larger diameter wheels than most standing electric scooters, which helps them roll over obstacles more easily and improves the overall safety of the vehicles.
Lime welcomes Wheels into new platform
Lime has apparently taken notice of Wheels’ unique advantages and decided that it wants in.
To do so, Lime has struck an agreement with Wheels that will create a partnership of sorts between the two electric scooter sharing companies. The partnership allows Lime to offer its riders access to Wheels’ seated electric scooters via the Lime app, in addition to still providing its own standing electric scooters.
Lime is apparently planning to include other micromobility companies in this new shared e-vehicle platform, with the Wheels announcement marking just the first step in this new platform’s rollout. Lime says that we can expect to see additional partners joining the new shared platform in the second half of this year.
As explained by Lime’s CEO Wayne Ting in a statement provided to Electrek:
“People are demanding more shared, electric and affordable transportation options to make short trips around their cities. In the near future, Lime will be the one-stop-shop for anyone looking to take a car-free trip under five miles. We’re excited to launch a platform that offers riders even more options given the vast and growing demand for alternative modes of urban transportation. We’re thrilled to welcome Wheels as our first partner on the Lime platform as its accessible, safe, and unique seated vehicle is highly-sought after by riders, already helping shift urban commuter behavior towards greener transportation and cities toward a more people-first future.”
I don’t want to say “I told you so,” but I did.
I predicted this exact scenario at the end of 2018.
Of course, I’m nothing special, and it is no large feat of mental fortitude to realize that dozens of companies offering similar services for similar prices can’t coexist forever.
Now, the question is: “Which ones will remain?”
Lime is currently the largest provider of shared electric scooters, with Bird close behind. Will Bird roll out its own platform of partnered electric scooters? It has already begun scooping up its own subsidiaries to roll out new products, so it would certainly make sense.
The rest of 2020 will be very interesting as the next few chapters of the great shared electric scooter saga are written before our eyes.
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