Behold: micromobility company Lime is ready to launch it’s fourth generation electric scooter. As one of the largest firms in this sector, this is Big News.
There are some pretty major differences between this model and its predecessor, which was launched in October 2018. Perhaps the most noticeable changes at first glance are the swappable batteries, replacing fixed units, and the swept-back handlebars.
Those are not lights along the side of the deck in the header image, by the way. They’re reflectors.
There are lots more updates, including bigger wheels and a lower deck to increase stability, a sturdy aluminium frame and lots of “under the bonnet” software improvements. It looks a totally different beast to the model it replaces.
Questions do remain over the sustainable credentials of swappable lithium-ion batteries but Lime’s idea is that these can be swapped between its shared scooters and bikes. Which seems like a pretty good idea from a fleet management point of view.
The new scooter is expected to be rolled out across Europe in early 2021. Or just in time for London, in other words. It’s an older model than fielded by many of its competitors but, when all operators claim their scooters will last two or three years, it’s an encouraging sign that lifespans are creeping up.
Talking about trying to impress ahead of London, don’t expect this to be the last announcement from the sector about new scooters. Not by a long shot.