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.
    Read more here: bit.ly/2P5g030
    Subscribe: goo.gl/G5RXGs
    Like The Verge on Facebook: goo.gl/2P1aGc
    Follow on Twitter: goo.gl/XTWX61
    Follow on Instagram: goo.gl/7ZeLvX
    Listen to our podcasts: www.theverge.com/podcasts
    Read More: www.theverge.com
    Community guidelines: bit.ly/2D0hlAv
    Wallpapers from The Verge: bit.ly/2xQXYJr
    Subscribe to Verge Science on TheXvid, a new home base for our explorations into the future of science: bit.ly/2FqJZMl
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 1 271

  • The Verge
    The Verge  2 months ago +250

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

    • Taylor Senechal
      Taylor Senechal 15 hours ago

      Love them. I use them all the time.

    • Vladimir Ivan
      Vladimir Ivan 23 hours ago

      I feel this is a covert add for scooters and for the inevitable increase in pricing.

    • Sage Wysocki
      Sage Wysocki Day ago

      Not in my city yet but I sure wish they were.

    • Paul C
      Paul C 2 days ago

      A necessary evil... we need to find alternatives to the car and this is a start. All top management at bird and Lime need to be terminated in a clean sweep. Scooter designs were junk and they knew it. A properly designed scooter with swap-able parts can last indefinitely.

  • Luke L.
    Luke L. Hour ago

    Why did they protest and destroy the scooters? Why?

  • Kacper Lis
    Kacper Lis 6 hours ago

    They were saying the same about music streaming services...

  • charles ryanlee
    charles ryanlee 8 hours ago

    I wonder what people can make out of those electric motors.

  • Zhiyuan Shen
    Zhiyuan Shen 20 hours ago

    The market of sharing bikes and scooters in China had already been proved as a huge flop

    ZARAX Day ago +1

    tragedy of the commons

  • Batam City Tour
    Batam City Tour 2 days ago

    If you want people to be obedient and forgiving, USA is not the place to start such startups

  • Panos Rod
    Panos Rod 2 days ago

    Saving the environment will not last for long.

  • Jake Fox
    Jake Fox 3 days ago

    This was very well done, the amount of research and coverage of this was sensational, thirsty for more!

  • it's from my recommend section so don't judge me

    For my country its €0.50 to start and €0.10 per minute

  • 420BudNuggets
    420BudNuggets 4 days ago +1

    If you ride a scooter and wear a helmet I have no respect for you 🤦🏼‍♂️

  • Bulljive Bots
    Bulljive Bots 4 days ago

    This is the saddest set for one of these videos ever. You look like you’re in a hostage video. BLINK TWICE IF YOU’RE OK

  • Cobra Commander
    Cobra Commander 4 days ago

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!!!! I hope they all go broke.

  • nyb
    nyb 4 days ago

    My ninebot one shut down while I was riding with a nearly full battery. I flew so far into the air. Honestly, I'm lucky to be alive.

  • Edrick Ong
    Edrick Ong 4 days ago

    GOOD! Those scooters are a menace on the road. I've lost count of how many times I nearly ran over people on those scooters because they thought that they can run red lights and merge randomly into traffic.

  • coolhari2000
    coolhari2000 5 days ago

    What about charging costs???

  • Compuguy123 - Ghetto Mods/Gameplay

    Lithium fevers got me down ~

  • Helaman Gile
    Helaman Gile 5 days ago +5

    I rode my scooter for nearly 9 years and only had to replace the battery twice I rode it almost everyday for about 20 miles to work

    • sdq sdq
      sdq sdq 5 hours ago

      9 years ? what brand

    • Helaman Gile
      Helaman Gile 3 days ago

      @InXLsisDeo probably not takes power to charge them that power usually comes from a coal plants so I probably didn't help at all

    • InXLsisDeo
      InXLsisDeo 3 days ago +1

      Congrats, you saved tons (literally) of greenhouse gases.

  • Timotheus157
    Timotheus157 6 days ago

    Personally owned electric vehicles, which includes scooters is the way to go. Using Bird as an example is specific and foolish at best. Not good research.

    • InXLsisDeo
      InXLsisDeo 3 days ago

      It's the exact same with Lime & co. It's not specific as most people use these free floating disasters instead of owning their own scooter.

  • XxKazxX xoxo
    XxKazxX xoxo 6 days ago

    Hmmm on average if a person travels for 60min of commute that’s $10 on a single day... that’s way more than what i pay for UberPool which is ($7) and ridiculous surge price of $15-$30 for reg UberX... why would I pay $10 for a scooter ride than a UberPool ride? The answer is i wouldn’t... I remember one day waking up so late like 20mins before i start my shift late that i almost had a panic attack. I grabbed UberX and noticed it was a whoppping $23 and I’m like WTF... i would’nt be surprised all these electric scooters will do the same in a few months when they see more and more people using them... i feel bad for teens 17 and under who can’t use it lol, sorry kids u can have those Trix 😂 cause E-Scooters are for adults only

  • Jnard Lou Benz
    Jnard Lou Benz 6 days ago

    How sad Americans taking for granted the use of scooter. Dumping scooters in the river? Really?. Americans are Barbarric

  • Malte Hoffmann
    Malte Hoffmann 7 days ago

    Just recently it became legal to ride those scooters in Germany. You "only" need an insurance for it to be legal.

  • Junito Punto Comm
    Junito Punto Comm 7 days ago +6

    It’s NOT the Scooters that Won’t last...It’s The Companies !!

  • Henri McKeown
    Henri McKeown 7 days ago

    No scooters in Boston 😀

  • Paul Chen
    Paul Chen 7 days ago

    the only people making good money off this are the scooter manufacturers, not the platforms. Like Uber, the business model of Bird is not sustainable nor are they profitable.

  • flitsies
    flitsies 7 days ago +1

    Perhaps if they had a better repair system that was more cost effective that would negate the damage being done to the scooters.
    Instead of tossing out old motors recycle them and put them back into another scooter.
    In the UK these types of scooters are not legal to dump on the side of the road, so they are being hired out to individuals presumably per day.
    That makes more sense, hire the scooters out to individuals per day or week that way they take responsibility for the scooters.
    The UK has a hiring service for bikes, the dump them on the side of the road system does not do too well, however the docking put them back in a responsible location method works very well.
    The idea of hiring scooters and bikes is a good one but the companies do need to take responsibility for the way they operate, if you hired a car you could just dump it on the side of the road and walk away, you have specific locations or areas you can legally put the car so it makes sense.
    People will always take advantage of things if you simply allow them to, but put in some simple rules and most people will comply if the service is good, if not then you end up with problems.

  • shapes
    shapes 7 days ago +1

    this means there gonna make the perfect scooter one day that you might just be able to buy

  • tomalba7
    tomalba7 7 days ago

    Number one get better scooters number two quit charging a dollar to start... I'll pay a lot more to drive a decent scooter maybe even 25 bucks

    • InXLsisDeo
      InXLsisDeo Hour ago

      @tomalba7 it is definitely transportation for a lot of us who own one. And since the most common model can be bought for around $300-$350, it's much cheaper to simply buy one at this price. A jetski is in the thens of thousands.

    • tomalba7
      tomalba7 2 days ago

      @InXLsisDeo it is recreation not transportation ever check the cost of renting a jet ski??

    • InXLsisDeo
      InXLsisDeo 3 days ago

      you would be the only one, a taxi is cheaper

  • sadman hoque
    sadman hoque 7 days ago

    Wall Street geniuses would rather pour billions into upstart ideas that *might* become a big deal than pay livable wages so their employees can spend more. go figure

  • Jordan Rivas
    Jordan Rivas 7 days ago +1

    Put a camera on the scooter so any vandalism done end up charging the person's debit card

  • cindy chan
    cindy chan 8 days ago

    i wish london had electric scooters, i saw them all over in stockholm. wondering whether to buy one myself, or a kick scooter

  • Panic The Scholar Knight.

    I bet a good deal of the reason scooters aren't lasting is because dickwads in big cities don't care about what they don't own and of course abuse it.

  • tom keane
    tom keane 8 days ago

    Imagine what would happen if someone made an open source modularised electric scooter and funded it by presales like a crowd funding site.

  • willysnowman
    willysnowman 8 days ago

    Francis Fascination gave me one, but the battery is dead. How easy is it to steal a battery?

  • Sean Sullivan
    Sean Sullivan 8 days ago

    Once people realize they can buy their own (where they know it hasnt been abused, etc) for less than half the cost of an iphone ...IDK why you'd rent. Even not folded up its extremely portable. much easier than lugging a bicycle around.

  • Yariv Wolok
    Yariv Wolok 8 days ago

    So what? They’re insured. Why would they care? Also completely solvable problem....but okay. And cars have massive problems, bikes, etc...I guess we can ignore those though.

  • benn zhong
    benn zhong 8 days ago

    so typical that ride sharing scooters were rebranded china scooters like the ride sharing bike crazed that has been dead bcos of the poor quality material used and being abused, or locked up by selfish users, the lock being removed or thrown away because people already have bikes that are foldable and portable...so its no surprise that with this new craze people will lose interest and starts abusing them, the fact it came from china is no shocker....most of the times its the case of you get what you paid for...

    JOUE BIEN TECH 8 days ago

    Has any one done a study on how log the helmets last? If I had a dollar for every abandoned lime helmet I've seen in Brisbane I'd be a millionaire.

  • Fruit Based Homestead Jason Kvestad

    Two simple yet ignored aspects are, Recycling and repairing. This video is overly dramatic.

  • Lindalee Law
    Lindalee Law 9 days ago

    Those using them,,at least in Denver, disregard and road , street or sidewalk laws. I fully intend to stand my ground the next time.

  • ucheucheuche
    ucheucheuche 9 days ago

    There's a new company called Unicorn scooters, pitching themselves as a stronger longer lasting scooter.

    • Bill Carson
      Bill Carson 7 days ago

      Sounds like a big problem if you run into someone.

  • Diego
    Diego 9 days ago

    For sure this companies has insurance to protect the scooters.

  • Marcos Rivera
    Marcos Rivera 9 days ago +3

    Completely ignores the fact that every user and trip is creating an amazing amount to market data, travel paterns and SELLABLE algorithms of the community it serves. THAT is the most profitable/sellable part, user data!

  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson 10 days ago

    I like escooter share as a consumer it will move the technology faster and drive down the cost of ownership in the future

    • Michael Anderson
      Michael Anderson 10 days ago

      I have Razor e prime scooter and I can't ride it for now because Wisconsin over reacted to bird and lime and ban all escooters from roads and sidewalks

  • Sapper T
    Sapper T 10 days ago

    This is what happens when it’s not yours and there is no accountability. Not rocket science.

  • Won't see me coming
    Won't see me coming 10 days ago

    Rideshare scooter it works in other nations, but in the US may not last due, most riders lack of consideration to pedestrians , riders are overweight, so scooter gets maxed out in capacity, and range, roads are in poor conditions. There is too many factor that is designed to fail in the US, meanwhile thrives in others Nation, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Holland, Etc.

  • Otro Pl4n
    Otro Pl4n 11 days ago

    Thanks to all the scoters who have thrown in the lakes and the lack of respect for the environment by the Americans is that so many natural catastrophes are occurring in that country. They are not as smart as they appear to be.

  • DeWayne Hasty
    DeWayne Hasty 11 days ago

    I'm here in San Diego for a work trip with two co-workers. We rode the scooters the first day we got here just for some fun. But now we've been riding them every day sometimes displacing driving a car sometimes displacing walking. but we agree this is definitely a mode of transportation. I hope the cities figure out how to incorporate them.

  • rick berland
    rick berland 12 days ago

    Its about the data they collect from users...

  • Mike H
    Mike H 15 days ago

    Electric scooters seem better as personally owned items to replace bikes for shorter trips, not for ridesharing, especially when the average person today doesn't seem to care for shared property.

  • Shaun G
    Shaun G 16 days ago

    I feel like they’re lowballing the cost of use a bit here in Minneapolis. It costs you about $10/hr to ride a scooter but I can’t really see people riding to where they need to be for even more than 30 minutes. They should charge $10/ 30 minutes and take it from there.

  • Amos Moses
    Amos Moses 17 days ago +1

    *"I just don't think that the future should be scootin' mmk"*

  • Damian Acevedo
    Damian Acevedo 17 days ago

    mmm this is where all cocaine money is going xD

  • mathieu
    mathieu 17 days ago

    - Too fast for sidewalks, too slow for bike lanes (and streets)
    - No effective emergency braking
    There's no planned place for them to be. In other words, they're a nuisance at best and a danger at worst.
    Essentially, they make being a pedestrian, a bicyclist and a car driver more difficult and more dangerous. In the case of pedestrians and bicyclists, who are more apt to be discouraged, the goal of making transportation more sustainable is a failure.

    • Miluriel
      Miluriel 16 days ago

      They are a lot less dangerous than cars, and we still make those work. There's no planned place for scooters (and often enough bikes) yet. If people stop driving cars and start riding scooters and bikes, cities will start making place for them.

  • Donkens
    Donkens 18 days ago +1

    raise your finger to the haters, scooters rise up!

  • Mark Brand
    Mark Brand 18 days ago +13

    “If ridesharing keeps being unsustainable it will be unsustainable”

  • Hunter Tanner
    Hunter Tanner 19 days ago

    What about citi bikes

  • David Miracle
    David Miracle 19 days ago

    It'a for certain that one person driving a 3000 pound gasoline powered vehicle on a 6 mile round trip to the grocery store to purchase a six pack of diet soda, is something that needs to be phased out. California now has over 40 million inhabitants, with more people pouring into the state as each passing winter disgusts people in the East with the changing weather. Grid lock now exists on the freeways in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Scooters and electric bikes don't need to be phased out...the individually owned car and truck does.

  • TheENofficial
    TheENofficial 19 days ago +1

    I just bought my own

  • MDizzy
    MDizzy 19 days ago +1

    These should be designed so that they are foldable and stackable so they have a smaller footprint when they are parked in droves.

  • richard roberson
    richard roberson 19 days ago

    why would anyone want a scooter when FSD is out. so in 10 years tops this is meh?

  • Jason H
    Jason H 19 days ago

    I don’t understand why scooters didn’t follow the same model as bicycles where you have to put it back in a stable so you don’t get charged too much money.

  • Pantsu God
    Pantsu God 20 days ago

    I'd never even heard of e scooters until today.

  • Chris
    Chris 20 days ago

    I want them all to disappear. That goes for the people who run the companies as well.

    • David Miracle
      David Miracle 19 days ago

      That's because you have no vision of the future.

  • Robert Taylor
    Robert Taylor 20 days ago

    The problem isn't the lifespan of the scooter the problem is that cities are beginning to regulate them into non-existence because of nuisance operators. The biggest fear of these companies should be how to exist in a city when even most skateboarders cannot.

  • Zack Richland
    Zack Richland 20 days ago

    Buy a Vengatti.

  • Micah Vincent
    Micah Vincent 22 days ago +1

    More about scooter Sharing than the scooter themselves

  • Michael Panarella
    Michael Panarella 22 days ago

    They are a virus and need more regulation. At the very least a centralized parking location like other programs (CitiBike and Capital Bikeshare).

  • Victor Treptow
    Victor Treptow 22 days ago

    Where did they get this $500~ per scooter figure from? There is no chance bird is paying that much per unit, it’s probably closer to 100-200 considering the size of their bulk orders

  • Nicolas Gomez
    Nicolas Gomez 23 days ago

    Here in my city (bogota, co) everyone uses them more as.... a bike replacement or just to have fun arround the park and stuff, no one wears a helmet, I’ve almost been struck by a scooter twice, and they are never where you need them, you scarcely see them near the bus or transit stations, but there are a bunch parked near coworking places and restaurants. And I don’t know how they keep them in good contition, and how do they handle theft cuz crime and theft are a HUGE problem here so hey..... its even impressive seeing lime scooters here. (To we also have two other scooters that apparently are national, grin and movo (correct me if I’m wrong) and I’m genuinely curious on their business model, cuz thry are like 2 or 3 times cheaper than lime and all the US scooters. Its weird.

  • bomberman3r
    bomberman3r 23 days ago

    Like most startups they are not profitable from day 1. So what?

  • Ross S
    Ross S 25 days ago

    This 28 days cant be right, who’s the source.... there are loads of ES1 ninebots still on streets of Venice..

  • Cam Moto
    Cam Moto 25 days ago +1

    I fractured my tibia, fibula, and scapula riding scooters! Now my foot is partially paralyzed! It was fun though.

  • VanillaMoments
    VanillaMoments 25 days ago +1

    I hope they ban them all. just ride your bike cycles people stop wasting energy

  • Downswing Player
    Downswing Player 25 days ago +3

    They need to develop a lake proof/fire proof scooter.

  • 888kham
    888kham 26 days ago

    Awesome! Cheap used scooters we could buy when they all go out of business.

  • Aon Lazio
    Aon Lazio 26 days ago

    We need to flood even more scooters

  • marques ingram
    marques ingram 27 days ago +3

    I love having access to the scooters here in Charlotte. A lot of us use them in the city to commute to out offices from our cars in remote parking lots.

    • InXLsisDeo
      InXLsisDeo 3 days ago

      Then you should buy one instead of using these free floating companies. It's more economical and MUCH MORE ecological. As the video said, these scooters are an ecological disaster as they are being replaced every month, while yours will normally last years.

  • KamiNoKaze
    KamiNoKaze 27 days ago

    wait they just threw them away? they didnt strip them for parts??

  • ROSE Leather Crafts
    ROSE Leather Crafts 27 days ago

    Then Boosted Rev comes along. Just admit it this is the future of transport.

  • regaeontop
    regaeontop 28 days ago

    Is this true???? I hope so!

  • Michael Lee
    Michael Lee 28 days ago

    Regardless of whether or not these scooter sharing businesses are good or bad, people destroying these scooters should be ashamed of themselves. No matter how “right” you think you are, destroying things are childish and stupid; it is not entertaining at all.

  • Vittorio Pirra
    Vittorio Pirra 28 days ago

    I just used one the other day in Milan (in italy we don't have that many of them) ; love the idea , makes no sense the business model: 20 min ride in the city centre costed me short of 4 euro when a metro ticket it's 1,5. Sure it's way more fun but the economics don't add up. When you consider that if you live in the city and you need a "something" to commute 15 km a day that would cost you say 8 euro\day that means that it would only take you around 50 days to repay you the purchase of your own xiaomi 365 , which if used with bit of brain lasts way longer ( a friend has got his one since more than a year, uses it regulary and didn't have a single problem so far). So the whole discussion it's a no brainer , if you use it regulary just buy one , if you rent it to non regulars than as you say the business model it isn't working.

  • Hung Tang
    Hung Tang 28 days ago

    Good where I want to buy

  • NPC #34254334 Response:

    What is the problem? Maybe it is only the fact they are parked outside? Maybe people should just buy 1 themselves?

  • Jon Sackett
    Jon Sackett 29 days ago

    I don't think their in-house scooters would really be more expensive. They're paying up-front for the production facilities and R&D, but they're avoiding buying at a markup by doing it all in-house. If their scooters are actually better it's still entirely possible for them to be cheaper or the same price as the Xiaomi and Segway Ninebot options just on the basis that they're paying material and labor costs without having to pay for shipping costs and markups at both the production and shipping levels. They also avoid import taxes and local taxes on the scooters by doing it all in-house.

  • TechMyLifeVideo
    TechMyLifeVideo 29 days ago

    Uber doesn’t work either. Drivers don’t factor reducing the life of their car.

    • Intelligence Injection
      Intelligence Injection 28 days ago

      TechMyLifeVideo omg all the investors and business analysts are dumbasses, none of them know they are doing something that doesn’t work

  • Ben Minne
    Ben Minne Month ago +2

    According to calculations a broken scooter is worth $0?

  • Roberto Carlos
    Roberto Carlos Month ago

    Those are some expensive scooters

  • Ocyanos
    Ocyanos Month ago

    Tel Aviv, its realy good you dont need texi or somthing

  • Castro 323
    Castro 323 Month ago +5

    I own a electric scooter
    Best purchase ever
    So fun

  • JESSEverything
    JESSEverything Month ago

    I'm sorry, but a scooter only lasting 28 days doesn't pass the common sense test.

  • Todd P
    Todd P Month ago

    If they only last 28 days that means that they are colossal pieces of junk

  • Shadow X
    Shadow X Month ago

    Those scooters probably cost 10 dollars to make in China...those figures the company wants you to see

  • Коля Зайцев

    Who the heck is this info for?!

  • Cole M
    Cole M Month ago

    What a waste of our planet

  • Nobzu
    Nobzu Month ago

    idiots dumping scooters to lake or destroying them otherwise don't realize that they will pay for it sooner or later for example. insurance money. police investigation etc. what a stupid people are lying out there.

  • Niska Hanye
    Niska Hanye Month ago

    I feel bad for the scooters

  • TheLord67
    TheLord67 Month ago +3

    Lol no need for scooter sharing if you purchased and actually own one xD

    • Dru 1
      Dru 1 11 days ago

      Can’t wait to get mine

  • PiotrHu
    PiotrHu Month ago +1

    Having electric scooters that last 6 months would be satisfying ? OMG, the planet is definitely screwed.