Electric scooters may not be around for long…

  • Published on Apr 12, 2019
  • Electric scooters have been one of the biggest tech crazes of the last year, with venture capitalists pouring more than $1 billion into the startups. But the fundamental numbers don’t add up because the scooters don’t bring in enough money to cover their costs. If the business continues on its current path, the scooter hype might be short-lived.
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Comments • 1 571

  • The Verge
    The Verge  5 months ago +345

    How do you feel about having scooters in your city/town?

    • Ice Breaka
      Ice Breaka Day ago

      Love those scooters, I have bought my own widewheel too, and please, don’t ride on side walk, that is what makes scooter riders not welcome.

    • Bluebie Grace
      Bluebie Grace 6 days ago

      I’m for it.

    • Douglas Faria
      Douglas Faria Month ago

      They’re super convenient in Charlotte NC. Our downtown is dense enough for it to make sense, but we only have one transit line which goes north to south but not east to west. If I have to walk 10 blocks east or west and it’s 95 degrees out (not uncommon here) I would much rather use a scooter. The streets can get crowded but not like NYC obviously so you wouldn’t be running anyone over. Plus it’s very fun when you’re drunk. Our public transit system is projected to be completed in 2070 so these are a good option. For these same reasons I’m sure they come in handy in Atlanta, Raleigh, Nashville, and Charleston too

    • CaptainNemo1701
      CaptainNemo1701 Month ago

      @cranston snodgrass There's two kinds of people the kind that like to have fun and the kind that don't want any rules to get in the way of them having fun.

    • cranston snodgrass
      cranston snodgrass Month ago

      There's two kinds of people the kind that like to have fun and the kind that don't like to see other people have fun

  • MrLouisnielsen
    MrLouisnielsen Day ago

    Sign Up for Voi or Tier scooters with these codes and get free first trip.
    Try this link for a free 2,5 Voi credits. Adds about 15 min of driving @t
    Try this one and get the same for Tier scooters. 15 min.

  • Ice Breaka
    Ice Breaka Day ago

    In japan can easily last over 6 months or even 1 year, but people here are careless, they use it and dump it anywhere they get off it. I have seen people get off scooter and not even use the kick stand, don’t even talk about to park it, Just lay it down on the ground blocking side walk, and yes, it happen here in San Francisco.

  • Dom s
    Dom s 6 days ago

    I can't believe VC are investing in this... They are the same people who invested in the dotcom bubble. They need to be taught some simple accounting skills.

  • Crystal Ritchie
    Crystal Ritchie 6 days ago

    I work for a scooter company. We drop 60 brand new scooter we are lucky if we get 50 back. They need a better gps and coding so people can’t bypass them and make them personal scooters. Even the new scooter are getting stolen and made into personal.

  • IAWFilmWorks
    IAWFilmWorks 8 days ago

    The company owners are making money while the business loses money. They pay themselfs and employees but a turn around revenue is another matter. Vandalism is only a small hit to the profit line compared to abuse of scooters by riders. The issue is no control over the company making them responsible for damage to the community. Bird flooded the streets at first with no permits obtains from the city. Started a bad rep for the industry, Lyme did get permits. But how do you get the customers to be considerate of the product, and the community...this is the real issues. Cities like Reno Nevada band the company's till a solution could be arrived at. Once again there are people who will ruin it for everyone. I think the idea is great for the environment and community if only certain issues can be dealt with.
    But perhaps these companies are more interested in making their money over doing right for the communities they are making in.
    If this is so...the industry will end.

  • James Faction
    James Faction 10 days ago +1

    Your video title is inaccurate. RIDE SHARE scooters may not be around for long. Electric scooters are here to stay - just privately owned ones.

  • Ghult
    Ghult 19 days ago +1

    What can I do because in my country (Malta) have made a new law that I need to be 18 and have a driving licence for my electric scooter. Please help.

  • lightningbug000
    lightningbug000 22 days ago

    Electric scooters will be around for a long time, just not scooter sharing apps. Just like how internet cafes failed, but the internet is here to stay. People are buying their own.

  • Brian McK
    Brian McK 24 days ago +1

    There’s still a lot of money $$ to be made just selling them individually !!!

    • daktothefuture 1
      daktothefuture 1 22 days ago +1

      Brian McK absolutely! I just bought an xiaomi 365 for getting around my college campus. In short, it’s been a dream! Getting to classes only takes 5 minutes now so I can get a really good seat in the front of the class.

  • Lirian
    Lirian 25 days ago

    Dang they started on by birthday

  • David Nich
    David Nich 25 days ago

    scooter danger on footpath = The Tragedy of the Commons: when a previously civilly shared resource (eg footpath) is destroyed by by self-interest or profit seeking

  • The Broke Mountain Biker

    Just buy your own scooter

  • Metro Lima
    Metro Lima Month ago


  • Just Neh
    Just Neh Month ago

    Huh turn into south park

  • doug
    doug Month ago

    the one month stat your whole video is based on is probably wrong! if some companies go bust then the ones left will get more rides per day also.

  • Trevor Nash
    Trevor Nash Month ago

    More reliable electric scooters needed. They still pump them out where quality is poor and break easy. I want to get one but bad reviews on them.

  • Luke Finlayson
    Luke Finlayson Month ago

    Slightly misleading title...

  • Shoot TV football
    Shoot TV football Month ago

    they just need to try this business in countries where actual educated people live,rather than aMeriCa - yee haw

  • kenny Ozone
    kenny Ozone Month ago

    @2:08 those scooters don't cost $500.each one cost like $50 or less from China. The most you buy in bulk the less it becomes.

  • SuperFritzFantom
    SuperFritzFantom Month ago

    greetings from vienna lol haven´t expected to get called in one sentence with the us and paris lol
    btw i and not using the sharingdevices, because i have my own m365 (with over 1500km on it)

  • MadJDMTurboBoost
    MadJDMTurboBoost Month ago

    I highly doubt a company (eg. Bird or Lime) are buying Xiaomi rebranded scooters in BULK for more than the retail price of ~$500... I think your numbers are off

  • California R
    California R Month ago

    Shameful era, communities lost.

  • Brian Michaels
    Brian Michaels Month ago

    Your math is wrong NO WAY a company business model is to lose money

  • mickeyman
    mickeyman Month ago

    You can always increase the price to the public...

  • Sirius Blackwhite buffalo

    I like scooters

  • David Nich
    David Nich Month ago

    scooters are the new Hitler youth - murderers proudly parading through the street

  • Your family friendly Caprisun


  • golden rule
    golden rule Month ago

    In my city they started stealing these things lmao

  • Tonga Cooks
    Tonga Cooks Month ago

    Not all scooter riders are bad. There's always that few who are idiots. Make it look bad for scooters.
    Cars and trucks. Motorcycles drivers are the same too. Good and bad drivers.
    Use common sense. Ride and drive safely responsibly.

  • David Darby
    David Darby Month ago

    If these companies were smart they would just sell licensing to owner/operators and stay out of it.

  • SonyJimable
    SonyJimable Month ago

    You completely miss the point of their business model. Do you know the value of having our App on your mobile phone?

  • Philip Emanuele
    Philip Emanuele Month ago

    1 person Autonomous electric cars will take over

  • pmvoice88
    pmvoice88 Month ago

    Funny story. Because a was a scooter was left in a public park, in the middle of a walkway for 4 days, the locals started using the scooter's basket for tossing their dog poop bags. Not me of course. I'm into iguanas.

  • Strong David Wood
    Strong David Wood Month ago

    I'd rather just buy my own scooter.

  • darko714
    darko714 Month ago

    The Limes and the Birds aren't going away. The design will improve, the components will be made more durable and easier to repair, and the supply chain will become even more efficient. Once they're established in a given market, there will either be a price point at which they break even, or they will be withdrawn from that market. There is also an angle Mr. Hawkins didn't mention, and that is their capacity to collect data, which we now know has a great deal of value in itself.

  • Dan Field
    Dan Field Month ago

    people throw toxic scooter betteries into the lake ? not good

  • John Quill Taylor
    John Quill Taylor Month ago

    The economics of scooters might begin to work out more favorably once consumers realize that they can use the shipping containers as coffins. - j q t -

  • e-bike full time city transportation

    I really doubt that bird and lime are paying what you reported you can buy a Xiomia on Amazon for 399 and a clone four 299. Just some more bad reporting by Verge get the facts straight but you guys never do thumbs down

  • Nick J
    Nick J Month ago

    There seems to be a wrong number somewhere. My buddy has been using a scooter like that for over a year and changed its tires just now (they were included with the purchase).

    SWAGGUT2 Month ago

    Since Finland got electric scooters a while ago theres now 4 different e scooter companies and everyone rides and I have rode them too and havent seen any scooter in a bad condition and its good because in Finland theres not alot of people so you can freely ride the streets without anyone blocking so not a lot of crashes.

  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson Month ago

    Duh people love them they will buy and flip them like cars and house's

  • retractedwan
    retractedwan Month ago

    Read a review stating that the owner of a Xiaomi m365 had lasted two years and done over a 1000km- with no problems. If you look after your kit it looks after you. Nothing a regular technical service can't sort out.

  • Andrew Barchenger
    Andrew Barchenger Month ago

    Most wheelchair bound people have power chairs. Not easy to maneuver them to begin with. Try getting around scooter riders who aren't supposed to be on the sidewalk and scooters and bikes thrown across the sidewalk. Unsightly nuisances and now they've lobbied to not require helmets amidst a class action suit over injuries!

  • Kujo
    Kujo 2 months ago

    Your math seems seriously flawed.. if one ride is 10 bucks, thats 1 hour, at 5 rides per day thats $50 per day. Meaning a scooter pays for itself in 10 days even if you’re using the larger $500 figure mentioned.. how in the WORLD do you get 5 months?!?!?? These scooters at $0.15 / min should be RAKING in the cash!! And its now $0.2 / min today by the way... curious how you reached those values

  • RPdigital
    RPdigital 2 months ago

    Lifespan is not so important. Look at the Apple products...

  • Tutor Daniel Wolf
    Tutor Daniel Wolf 2 months ago

    I do not understand your calculation at 2:35
    Generating 2.32 Dollars per ride or all 3.5 rides together?! If it is per ride then you will have a total revenue per Scooter of 234 (=28.8*3.5*2.32) Dollars! But you come to 67 Dollars only! That means you argue that all 3.5 rides TOGETHER make a revenue of 2.32 Dollars (28.8*3.5=67). But that is impossible as one ride would cost only 66ct (2.32/3.5=0.66) and - as you mentioned - alone starting a scooter-ride costs the customer 1 Dollar. So is your calculation wrong or have I made something wrong?

  • Darren Griffith
    Darren Griffith 2 months ago

    Also consider that in the eastern half of the United States you basically have a 6 month window to rent scooters due to winter and even then it's raining often.

  • to catch a fly
    to catch a fly 2 months ago

    Who needs feet anyway? Right?

  • Deridder Evelien
    Deridder Evelien 2 months ago

    a lot of lies here

  • MortyIsTrash
    MortyIsTrash 2 months ago +1

    People at my nearest park threw like a dozen of these scooters in the parks pond 🤦‍♂️🥴

  • Ponce the Guitar Guy
    Ponce the Guitar Guy 2 months ago

    what about the fact that they pay people to charge the scooters could that mean that they aren't losing that much money??

  • Dipto
    Dipto 2 months ago

    Verge don't be so hard on them LOL. If my new car needs maintenance after 1 month, that doesn't mean that its the lifespan of the car.

  • Hi-Fidude66
    Hi-Fidude66 2 months ago

    Because throwing scooters in a lake doesn't pollute at all. American retardation at it's finest. It's not the scooter's fault that they don't last, it's the American retardation again. They last much longer here in Norway or Stockholm where I am on vacation right now.

  • A B
    A B 2 months ago

    Move factory again. Cheap labor. Solve

  • Aleksandr Vasilenko
    Aleksandr Vasilenko 2 months ago

    This is the solution to the last mile problem public transportation has and people are destroying it for shits and giggles.

  • Torr HTHC
    Torr HTHC 2 months ago

    Only idiots will go for scooter sharing in US. Ya the startups are giving cheap ride to snook gullible investors to pump in money.

  • Dragan Bakema
    Dragan Bakema 2 months ago

    Americans dump electric scooters in a lake??? As a protest?? Why. What did the normal Americans say about that?

  • Mohamad Wahba
    Mohamad Wahba 2 months ago

    Excellent point of view and totally right

  • Velo1010
    Velo1010 2 months ago

    The very reason they get vandalized is people (mostly kids and teens, as well as immature adults) is there is a upward spiral of people with NO respect for property. Instead of moving the scooters or ignoring them they rather vandalize because they have this pent up anger inside of themselves.