The chances are that you jumped onto a Lime or Bird scooter as soon as they arrived in your city or town. Like most of us, you would have enjoyed the initial buzz of that first ride, the freedom, the fun, the convenience to pick up and leave the scooter wherever you wanted.
After a few test drives, you probably had that lightbulb moment, when you realised there was an alternative to getting to and from work. An opportunity to ditch the car along with parking costs and traffic and avoid lengthy waits for unreliable buses and trains.
Over the past 18 months many of us urban commuters have realised the potential of the shared electric scooter revolution. If this new mode of transport is yet to arrive in your part of the world, then rest assured that it is on the way, as local body governments search for solutions to ease congestion and decrease their cities' carbon footprint. Electric scooters offer a much-needed solution to urban mobility.
If you are an early adopter and are serious about saving money, avoiding the drudgery of the traditional commute to work you may well now be using rideshare scooters every week.
If this is the case, you will also have encountered some of the pitfalls of the rideshare operation and have even considered owning your own Electric Scooter.
So when do you know you have outgrown the rideshare option?
When you start thinking about the following;
Speed – Rideshare scooters tend to do 15kms per hour. OK for a short distance but if you are commuting over 20kms a day, it's not so convenient and the cost of hire for long-distance can be a bit steep at 38 cents per minute in Auckland. An hour's commute is likely to be costing you over $20NZD. Not the cost-saving you might have hoped for.
Power – Most rideshare scooters have 250-watt motors, this can prove problematic if you are riding in hilly terrain, especially if you are a bigger guy or girl. Ask yourself, is your rideshare scooter offering you enough stability and grunt?
Distance – Not an issue if you are only whizzing around local streets, but for those wanting to cover serious distances your rideshare option has considerable limitation. It very much depends on your weight, the terrain you need to cover and the speed you intend to travel at. The longer commute has its challenges for a rideshare scooter, if you need to be covering the Km's quickly and safely a more powerful electric scooter could be for you.
Reliability – You pay your money you take your chances. It is luck of the draw as to the condition of the rideshare scooter you will pick up each day. Although they may be serviced regularly there have been accounts of scooters failing to start or having dodgy brakes. At the end of a long day, you need a machine you can rely on to get you home quickly and efficiently.
Helmets – You don't need a helmet to ride a Lime scooter in Auckland and many other cities around the world. Despite rideshare scooters being low powered the danger of head injury is still there. It only takes one mistake, yet we seem to be more flippant about helmets when renting, while people who own their electric scooter seem to take the use of helmets more seriously. At Freed we encourage you to get the right gear to ensure your safety.
Subject to Increase in costs of rental – Lime in Auckland in June 2019 increased its cost per minute by 26% without any warning. Punters who rent will always be subject to cost increases from rideshare operators.
If the above points are things you have considered on your rideshare commute home, then you've probably outgrown the shared scooter market and it's time to look at stepping up and investing in your own electric scooter. There is no doubt that it's a big investment, but the benefits are worth considering.
Start by accessing your commute to and from work.
Then It's about getting the right machine for the job - A consultation with the Freed team will help, we'll look at the distances you travel, the terrain you covered, your height and weight, plus the speed you like to travel at. Then we'll suggest some models to test drive.
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