The electric scooter rental craze that is sweeping the US is coming to Europe. Silicon Valley-based Lime is launching its scooters in Paris this week, marking the start of an aggressive international expansion plan.
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Lime’s launch makes it the first of the growing clutch of US escooter start-ups to launch its rental service outside the US, beating arch rival Bird to the potentially lucrative European market.
If their eScooters berate curious Parisians like they do curious Americans, Lime will be fishing most of them out of the Seine.
Lime was founded last year as a bike hire company before moving into scooters, and now operates in more than 70 cities and college campuses, mainly in the US. In Europe it offers traditional and electric bikes in Berlin and Frankfurt. It tested a small number of scooters in Zurich, before committing to a full European rollout.
After it releases hundreds of scooters in Paris this Friday, Lime plans to launch in more than 25 markets across Europe before the end of this year, according to Caen Contee, a co-founder who is leading the company’s international expansion. It also hopes to enter the UK market but with electric-boosted pedal bikes at first, because escooters are not permitted on British roads.
Bird needs to move faster.
This is going to be a very interesting competition.
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