Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40

Despite US tariffs, electric scooters equal big money

$1.1 billion

Electric scooters might be in the line of fire amid the US-China trade war, but simple math shows that the industry still equals big money.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Benoit Tessier
Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Just look at California-based startup Lime, the newest scooter unicorn. It’s now valued around $1.1 billion, with investors banking on the attractive unit economics of low-cost smart transit.

Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Bird—also worth a cool billion—is another solid example: The average length of a Bird trip in Santa Monica is 1.6 miles, charging $1 per trip, plus $0.15 per minute.

Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Assuming an average speed of 7.5 mph, the average trip lasts 12.8 minutes, costing $2.92.
At 5.5 trips per day, a Bird scooter can earn about $16 a day.

Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Venture capital funding to scooter startups

Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Xiaomi’s scooter, used by Bird and Spin, costs $500 on Amazon and $320 (1,999 yuan) in China. Assuming a lower price in bulk, each scooter could pay for itself inside a month.

Lime’s France director Arthur-Louis Jacquier rides a dock-free electric scooter Lime-S by California-based bicycle sharing service Lime on their launch day in Paris, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RC1121356D40
$1.1 billion

Of course, those figures depend on the city, with charging costs, scooter lifespan, maintenance, and operational costs to consider.

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