Lime reportedly launching two-seater electric cars by year's end
- Lime, the dockless bike and scooter company, will expand into two-seater electric vehicles, and is exploring grocery and food delivery services by the end of the year, according to a fundraising deck obtained by Axios.
- The electric vehicles (EVs) would be similar to Car2Go, with an estimated charge of $1 to start and an additional 40 cents per minute (an average Car2Go trip is 20 minutes). The company reportedly is eyeing several electric models, including the Renault Twizy, and expects to launch in one or two markets in the fourth quarter of 2018.
- The expansion comes as Alphabet’s venture capital arm GV is leading a $250 million equity round for Lime, which would value the company at $1 billion.
Lime burst onto the scene with dockless bikes and scooters, but has made no secret of its ambitions to become a bigger player on the transportation scene. After dropping “bike” from its name in May, the company added a fleet of Segway scooters and promised “transit pods” that would move at 40 mph. Axios reports it is also looking at sending restaurant and shopping deals to users through its app and is exploring using a freelance network for food deliveries, similar to Uber’s expansion into food delivery.
It remains to be seen how Lime will work with cities as it expands its services. Lime and other dockless companies angered some cities with the clutter created by users leaving bikes and scooters in sidewalks and alleys, causing backlash in the form of tighter regulations and fines (San Francisco and Denver have even been among those removing scooters from the streets).
Car2Go has worked with cities to pay parking fees and assuage concerns about the impact on traffic, as it recently did before gaining approval in Chicago. The Spanish scooter company Muving announced last week it would launch in Atlanta with the backing of city officials, even as they write new regulations on dockless companies.
Lime, by contrast, launched in some markets without permits, including a belly flop in Honolulu where officials seized scooters just after their launch. The documents obtained by Axios don’t state where Lime is considering launching its new services, but it will likely need to work out a stronger agreement for its cars than it has for bikes and scooters.
- Axios Scoop: How Lime is pitching its scooter biz to investors
- Silicon Valley Business Journal Check out the tiny two-seat car Lime may start renting out
- Smart Cities Dive From new name to new services, Lime makes a splash in May
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