Electric Scooters have become the latest arena for startups and innovations. People who have been keeping track of this issue realize that there are three significant players in the Scooter Wars in Silicon Valley: Bird, Lime, and Spin. The launching of Bird was first in Venice, Calif before its expansion in March into San Francisco. Presently, its worth indicates that Bird is now an electric Scooter Company strictly. However, that is not the case for Lime and Spin as both have deployed their bike-share services across parts of the country and the world.
In March, Lime and Spin launched their electric scooters in the city. In June, the City of SF introduced a temporary hold on electric scooters until there is a review of all applications for permits. The new city law which came into effect on June 4 indicates that scooter companies are unable to operate their services in the city without a permit.
Twelve companies including Uber, Lime, and Razor and so on and have all applied for permits to operate in SF but the Municipal Transportation agency of the city will grant permits to no more than five companies notably during the 24-month pilot program. However, the program would issue up to 25,000 scooters in total to operate but it is not clear on the exact number of scooters that each company should deploy. The entrance of Uber and Lyft into the electric scooter was expected given their permit applications to operate in SF. The two companies aim at becoming the one-stop shops where customers can meet all their transportation needs.
The SMFTA says that it intends to notify all the companies on the status of their permits by the end of June. After receiving the permit, the companies will have to pay $25,000for the annual permit fee and $10,000 public repair property and maintenance fee.
Additionally, the companies need to share their trip data with the city. However, the Scooter moratorium in Silicon Valley has minimal effect on the state of the scooters as a whole. Last week saw multi-million dollar investments in companies specializing in electric scooters such as Bird and Lime. Bird approved a new funding of $200 million that could raise the company’s value to about $1 billion post-money. Lime, which is Bird competitor is allegedly raising $250 million.
Bird is also in the process of experimenting with new scooter models but they, however, seem to be modified version of a Segway ES2. However, there are many other companies that have invested in electric scooters.