Lyft is gearing up to launch its next generation of shared scooters in partnership with Segway Ninebot. This comes on the heels of Segway Ninebot’s announcement of its newest scooter, the Model Max.
The Max Model was designed with wear and tear as a major problem for electric scooter sharing services in mind. It’s supposed to be stronger, have a better user experience, and more operational efficiency, with a battery that can last 37.5 miles on a single charge, compared to just 15 miles.
To help with bumpy roads, the Max Model features air-filled 10-inch front and rear wheels, compared to 8-inch. Scooters also have a wider socket.
Lyft first launched its electric scooters in Denver, Colorado, in September. Since then, Lyft has taken its scooters to eight additional markets in the US Lyft plans to roll out its new scooters “in the coming months,” Lyft Brand Head for Bicycles and Scooters Ethan Eyler told TechCrunch at a Lyft Hub in Las Vegas. More specifically, Eyler said it would be the second half of the first quarter or the early second quarter.
Lyft also plans to deploy some Segway-Ninebot Scooters with swappable batteries “soon,” Eyler said.
“I think were learning, you to know“Eyler said.” I mean, this scooter is the Outcome from a much from learnings that we have done Y seeing how the motorcycles hold up. Y with the everything strategy behind loading Y interchangeable batteries Y loading were learning since everybody from that to type from obtain to our latest plan. “
Interchangeable batteries can be a useful way to increase vehicle availability and total vehicle downtime spent charging batteries. Last month, Skip introduced a new scooter with interchangeable batteries for those exact reasons.
When Lyft first launched its scooters, it was based on Xiaomi’s. Not long after, in October, Xiaomi sent a cease and desist letter to Lyft, demanding that the company stop using its scooters. Lyft now says it has no plans to add additional Xiaomi scooters to its fleet.
It is worth noting that Xiaomi is a minority shareholder in Segway-Ninebot, and one of its first strategic investors, but Segway operates independently of Xiaomi.
Other scooter companies that rely on Segway-Ninebot include Lime, now owned by Ford Spin, and Uber’s JUMP motorcycle and scooter brand. Meanwhile, Bird has a partnership with Xiaomi for its electric scooters. Moving forward, Lyft has yet to determine whether it will work with additional manufacturing partners.
“I think it is yet to be determined,” Eyler said, “Looking at all the potential partners, Segway-Ninebot, in our opinion, builds the best scooters on the market.”
In addition to the new scooters, Lyft is working on docking systems for scooters. This was inspired by Lyft’s acquisition of the dock-based Motivate system, Eyler said.
“A lot of the cities we’ve talked to are very excited about this concept,” Eyler said.
That’s because the docks can be a way to provide order to the parking of electric scooters, while also providing some assurance to passengers that there will be motorcycles where they expect them to be, Eyler said. However, users will not have to dock scooters at these stations. They will also not be asked to lock scooters, despite theft concerns.
“I mean, [theft] It definitely happens, “Eyler said.” You’re never going to be able to stop all the bad actors. We also think this is just a much more prominent vehicle and feels less of something you could pick up and carry. Our hope is that it will be reduced by [theft]. “
Locks are not completely off the table, Eyler said, but Lyft is not currently developing lock mechanisms.
To read about how we got to where we are today, see a summary of the year of scooters below.