E-scooter Sharing

The concept of shared e-scooters started in 2017 with Californian start-ups and has now grown into a global multi-billion dollar business. In the United States alone, commuters reached nearly 40 million rides on electric scooters by 2018. Tech giants such as Uber and Google are investing hundreds of millions via start-ups such as Bird and Lime. Market leader Lime already delivered 100 million rides. Besides the industry leaders, smaller scooter-sharing companies spring up out of the ground like mushrooms to jump on the bandwagon, hoping to reap the benefits in this fast-growing industry. But how does this concept of shared electric scooters work? What are the costs involved, and how to know which brand to choose?

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How does electric scooter sharing work?

Commuting on a shared e-scooter is effortless!

  1. Install the mobile app from any of the providers and locate vehicles near you.
  2. Scan the QR code located on the handlebars or the baseboard.
  3. Cruise from A to B and park the scooter at a designated location.
  4. Finished riding? Simply stop the ride in the app.

There is no need for complicated infrastructure with charging stations. Scooter sharing providers use apps specifically designed to keep track of scooters’ battery levels. Is there not sufficient battery juice left? Students and freelancers – also called ‘chargers’ – recharge the two-wheelers at home during the night.

How much does an average ride cost?

The first question at hand is: at what point does it make more sense to have your own electric scooter instead of using shared ones? The next table shows the rate for different cities in Europe:

CityStarting priceRate / minute

For example, with the Xiaomi M365 scooter, averaging £300, you could make 100 rides of about 15 minutes, assuming the starting rate is £1.

Prefer a scooter of your own?

Compare e-scooters

Which companies dominate the scooter-sharing market?

lime logo

Lime is the largest industry player, followed by companies such as Bird, Bolt, Ether, Tier, Circ and Dott. Lime managed to fetch an incredible billion us dollars in funding over the past few years, which helps the company to move people around affordably while eliminating their carbon footprint.

Comparing 6 industry players


AccelerationGoodMediocreGoodGoodGoodVery good
AppVery goodgoodMediocreMediocreGoodGood
Driving comfortGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGood
DistributionExcellentVery goodGoodMediocreMediocrePoor
PaymentCredit card / PayPalCredit card / PayPalCredit cardCredit cardCredit card / PayPalCredit card / PayPal

What are the latest developments on shared e-scooters in the UK?

The UK has decided to move away from the technical requirements for electric scooters in European legislation. As a result of the corona crisis, the British government is now conducting trials and has recently published a guide for users.

The engines of e-scooters are bound to a maximum continuous power of 500W. The two-wheeler cannot weigh more than 55 kg, including the battery, and is prohibited from going faster than 15.5 mph (+ 25 km/h). The government stresses that the use of privately owned e-scooters remains illegal! Read more on e-scooter legislation here.

Are you a daredevil and still prefer enjoying an electric scooter without having to share it? Compare our best models and discover your favourite!