Why it matters: Allowing the public at large to use your property unsupervised comes with inherent risks. Damage is one that Lyft hopes it can mitigate with a newly forged partnership with Segway-Ninebot. The new sturdier scooters will be launching in the next few months with swappable batteries and docking stations following shortly.
Lyft has a new partner in its scooter-sharing venture. Previously the company was using modified Xiaomi-brand putt-putts, but the China-based firm sent Lyft a cease and desist saying that it did not like the ride-sharing company retrofitting its product.
TechCrunch notes that Lyft has now teamed up with Segway-Ninebot to offer improved scooters with swappable batteries. The shift comes hot on the heels of Segway’s announcement of its next-generation Model Max scooter at CES.
“Looking at all the potential partners, Segway-Ninebot, in our opinion, builds the best scooters in the market. A lot of the cities we’ve spoken with are very excited about this concept.”
The upgraded personal transportation device is reportedly more weather resistant and reliable. Durability has also been increased making it a good fit for the harsh wear and tear that naturally comes with sharing.
"I think we're learning, you know," said Lyft's Head of Brand for Bikes and Scooters Ethan Eyler. "I mean, this scooter is the result of a lot of learnings that we've done and seeing how the scooters hold up. And with the entire strategy behind charging and swappable batteries and charging, we're learning from all of that to kind of get to our ultimate plan.”
Lyft is also working on a docking system for the new models, but it is still in the early stages. Eyler did not have a timeline for when the scooters would be outfitted with swappable batteries only saying that it would be “soon.” However, the new units will begin rolling out in the next few months.
Hopefully, the sturdy new go-abouts can hold up to all the abuse they get by both the riders and people who find them an annoyance, especially in California.