Does owning a vehicle sound burdening? Thousands of people can relate to this feeling, especially when it comes to traditional cars. Pricey gas, insurance and maintenance, annoying traffic jams, and emissions you and everyone around breathe – driving cars is troublesome for many.
No wonder electric scooters and other e-vehicles have become mainstream around the globe. They save space, money, and the environment, while still providing a means to get to your destination in time. And for all of that, you don’t even need to buy your own!
The huge popularity of electric transport encourages businesses to develop their scooter sharing services. And it can certainly be a profitable business endeavor: in 2022, the e-scooter sharing market is expected to reach $1,752 million.
We are here to guide you through the electric scooter sharing segment and teach the basics of how to create your own scooter share app.
Electric scooter sharing is a type of micromobility sharing service that allows users to rent e-scooters for a short period. This process is fully automated via an e-scooter sharing app, which makes it an essential part of scooter rentals.
Scooter sharing apps take over the whole rental process from signing in and scooter pick up to the final drop off. First of all, users need to sign in and choose a payment method – and that’s it, they are ready to take their ride.
Users find the closest scooter with the help of an interactive map and unlock it by scanning a QR code. The e-scooter app tracks how long you’re using the vehicle and calculates the total sum you should pay after finishing the ride. After you’re done, the scooter gets locked again, until the next rider will be ready to pick it up.
Scooter rental services often provide dockless electric scooters, which means they don’t have a fixed station where you need to drop them off. Users can find and leave the scooters wherever in the service area according to the traffic regulations.
Electric ride sharing didn’t come on the global market out of nothing. This kind of service appeared as a natural reaction to the current needs of the users and modern trends in society.
So why do so many people choose ride sharing scooters?
The less expensive the service is, the wider the audience it can engage. Scooter rentals usually cost a couple of dollars per ride, which is far cheaper than a taxi. It makes e-scooter sharing affordable for most social groups.
Reduce CO2 emissions
For increasingly more businesses and common people, taking care of our environment and limiting carbon footprints is not a choice but a duty. Transport is arguably among the first economic branches to be changed.
E-scooter ride-sharing services are not a zero-waste or totally eco-friendly option for getting around, but e-vehicles produce fewer emissions than regular cars. So, it’s a great step on our way to a cleaner future.
Save on fuel
Fuel is not only environmentally damaging but also costly. In most countries, the gas price is sensitive to political situations. Energy crises are a common thing that can flatten car owners’ wallets at any time. Conversely, having or sharing an e-vehicle may be more cost-effective, as they are electrically chargeable.
Ease urban congestion
Roadways are often associated with the endless stream of noisy and smelly cars. Scooter and bike sharing, on the other hand, do not contribute to this street chaos. E-scooters stand out from these cars, as they are small and silent.
Solve parking problems
Hardly anything can irritate car drivers more than parking. Finding a proper place for your car can be stressful and often expensive. Such an issue doesn’t exist for e-scooters: you can drop it off almost everywhere. Just make sure you park it safely and not violate any parking laws.
Avoid traffic jams
Traffic jams are a disaster in big cities. In many regions, the streets are not designed for the ever-increasing number of cars. But if you’re using micromobility, you can forget about this issue. You not only contribute less to the endless traffic jams but also save time by maneuvering through slow moving traffic.
Cover short distances
Driving a car or calling a cab for a couple of kilometers is often unreasonable, but walking is also not always the best option. Speed and mobility are weighty arguments in favor of e-vehicles.
Sharing a scooter is fast, cheap, and seamless: all you need to do is install an app and pick up the one nearest you.
Choose portable vehicles
Need to use public transport such as a bus, tram, or subway train? You can take your e-scooter with you and get to a certain location with it. Then just get out and continue riding on your e-buddy.
Charging electric scooters is not much different from charging your smartphone or any other gadget. Plug the charger into the outlet, connect it to your charging port – and you’re done! It’s far more convenient than fueling a car, and you don’t need a lot of time or outside assistance.
Maintain e-scooter fleets easily
Scooters have a relatively simple construction. It allows you to maintain e-vehicles almost effortlessly. It isn’t too hard to keep the scooter clean, check its bolts, or even repair it when needed. You can also extend its service life if you charge the scooter regularly and don’t use it in the rain.
Ride for fun
Moving around on an electric scooter is exciting! Many riders rent e-vehicles just for fun and use them to explore the city, feel the wind blowing pleasantly in the face, and just have a nice time on their own or with friends. Indeed, private cars can hardly give you such a pleasurable experience.
All the advantages of this service make entrepreneurs choose e-scooter sharing startups as a marketable and socially significant business. So, let’s take a look at scooter sharing services that have already established themselves as successful businesses in the industry.
When it comes to electric scooter app development, Lime becomes one of the role models for young companies. The industry giant strives for a carbon-free future. Founded in 2017, Lime has already grown drastically, and today, its scooters are available in over 150 countries. The company collaborates with Uber, so you can also reserve a scooter using the Uber app.
The Lime e-scooter sharing service fees are not standardized. Generally, payment for an e-scooter is common for all popular apps: $1 to pick up the scooter and additional variations in per-minute costs depending on the location. For the Lime scooters, a single charge allows you to go over 20 miles. Additionally, you can check the battery of the vehicle even before you unlock it.
Represented in 350+ cities worldwide, Bird is one of Lime’s biggest competitors. Among other apps for e-scooters, this one focuses largely on the main benefits of using electric vehicles instead of regular cars: eco-friendliness, availability, space efficiency, and the overall positive urban impact.
Besides modern e-scooters, Bird also offers e-bikes, and all that for the price that is lower than most of the other scooter apps. Additionally, users can enjoy some unique features of the service, such as monthly rental and in-advance (up to 30 minutes) reservations.
The Spin e-scooter app was founded in 2016 and is counted among the top scooter rental services. It contains all the necessary features, such as an interactive map, QR code-based unlock, and long-living scooter batteries up to 40 miles per charge. The vehicles can reach speeds up to 15 miles per hour. The service offers promo codes for those who pass an online safety quiz.
The e-scooter app development often aims at solving social and environmental issues. Especially in the latter aspect, Spin stands out with its concrete goals. For instance, by 2025, the company wants to achieve carbon negativity by transitioning to 100% renewable energy and expanding the service life of the scooters to over 24 months.
Bolt is a well-known European urban mobility service. Since its appearance in 2013, the company has advocated the freedom of movement and is aimed at solving logistical issues with its products. Scooter sharing is another step on the Bolt’s way of reaching their goals.
Today, Bolt’s services are available in over 45 countries and 100 cities across the globe. The app is flexible and user-friendly. It allows you to choose several destinations in a single trip, check the price estimate, as well as use promo codes. The company runs its website actively, and among other things, publishes useful info about safe and convenient scooter riding.
Besides the giants of the industry, the scooter sharing niche makes room also for younger companies. Goat is one of the newest businesses (available since 2020) that shares great ideas of e-vehicle rental services. It competes with popular apps for e-scooters with its simplicity and effectiveness.
The Goat app works in North America and helps users find nearby scooters instantly. Users can start their rides by simply scanning the QR code. In addition, you can schedule your future ride and reserve the desired scooter.
To develop a successful scooter sharing app like Lime, you need to start with specific vehicle hardware.
Let’s explore the very basic and essential kit you’ll need for a competitive e-scooter app.
- GPS. This tracker is the underlying component of any smart e-scooter, as it determines the most important aspects of sharing scooters. On the one hand, it provides the exact location of the vehicle to help users find the one nearest them. On the other hand, this feature assists admins, especially in case of theft.
- Battery life indicator. Battery data is a simple yet essential function for convenient app usage. Users need to know how long they can ride the scooter. Moreover, this feature helps maintain the vehicle, as you need to charge it regularly to maintain a longer service life.
- Distance meter. Most of the e-scooter sharing apps estimate the final price of the ride based on the distance covered. The more accurately it works, the better quality of service you’ll provide to your customers.
- Alarm. An anti-theft signal is a basic security measure. It alerts you in the case of an attempted theft or any usage of the e-scooter without it first being properly unlocked. Consider combining it with a remote control, so you’ll have a chance to immediately deactivate the scooter.
- Maintenance sensor. It’s hard to track the current state of your scooters, especially if you have a large fleet. Maintenance sensors will let you know if there are any malfunctions or failures.
Having quality hardware is foundational to the proper functioning of your electric scooters. The more flawless it is, the fewer issues users will have, and thus will provide a better overall experience.
When it comes to e-scooter mobile app development, you may wonder which most essential features form the foundation of such an app.
Let’s take a look at how to build a scooter sharing app like Lime or other market leaders.
On-boarding and registration are the first things new users encounter. It’s your chance to hook them with a pleasurable design, flawless navigation, and clear functions. Try to simplify the process as much as possible. For instance, allow users to log in using social media accounts and require only essential personal data so that they don’t spend too much time during registration.
You can also provide them with an overview of the main features, some info about the benefits of using e-vehicles, and a short guide on safety. Remember to use concise language and simple explanations, or even let users choose to skip some steps.
The map feature helps users find and reserve nearby available scooters. Customers can also use maps to discover the shortest route to the destination. Generally, developers integrate the Google Maps API for Android devices and the MapKit framework for iOS.
If your service offers not only e-scooters but also e-bikes or other e-vehicles, you need to add navigation options to display the prices for each of the vehicle types.
QR code scanner
Most of the scooter rental services use QR codes as a tool for unlocking and locking the scooter. Developers consider it to be the safest way to start and finish the ride. Vehicles should be marked with individual QR codes, and the in-app feature should work perfectly.
However, a common complaint among users is that this system can sometimes function incorrectly.
Payment options are crucial for companies who want to make their scooter sharing services profitable. Offer users several in-app payment options and simplify the process to save customers’ time and improve user satisfaction. The payment system needs to run like clockwork, as it engages highly sensitive user information.
The GPS feature is the central component of any e-scooter sharing app, as it covers all the main processes. By using a GPS tracker, users can find the nearest vehicle, a convenient and safe parking spot, and the admins can also monitor the location of the scooters in case of a theft attempt or collect the vehicles that need maintenance or repair.
Want to know if users like your app? Just ask them about it! Feedback is an essential tool for growing and improving your app. Give your users a chance to share their opinion and contact support if they have any complaints or ideas for improvement. It will help you polish up the app, update it, and tailor it to relevant customers’ needs and requests.
Besides the basic features, you can add ride statistics, favorite destinations, booking, social media integration, a turn lights on/off feature, push notifications, or any other elements needed for convenient usage. Spice it up with a unique design and responsive admin feedback to become an outstanding Lime and Bird competitor.
Admin panel is a tool to control everything related to your app, including scooters, user activity, and payments. This huge database also allows you to analyze your app’s performance and adjust certain components to fine-tune the service.
Here are the basic features of an admin panel for electric scooter sharing apps:
- Fleet management: check the scooters’ locations and batteries, as well as their state of condition to see if they need additional maintenance.
- User management: see all user profiles, block them, or interact with customers by answering requests to the support team.
- Payment management: control the prices of the service, provide refunds, and see the history of all transactions.
- Ride management: get access to all ride-related details such as lengths, scooter speed, route, etc.
- Real-time tracking: adjust the speed limits and track the routes of all your scooters in real-time.
Further elements such as booking, order, QR code, and push notifications management are optional, and you can also add your custom ones according to your business logic and needs. A structured and convenient admin panel ensures the app will work as intended.
If you choose to create a scooter sharing app, you should be prepared for possible obstacles and risks that surround this kind of business. Some of them are easy to handle, others may be especially troublesome.
Take a look at some of the most common challenges young scooter rental services may face:
- You need to get permission from each city to launch your e-scooter sharing service.
- Not all cities have proper infrastructure for providing quality service or even simply charging your electric vehicles.
- Take into account that a lot of people don’t know the basic rules of scooter usage, so you need to provide all necessary information about traffic rules, safety measures, and parking.
- For many locations, e-scooter sharing is a seasonal business, as the weather conditions may not allow the use of vehicles in colder seasons.
Getting over these barriers requires special effort and much time which may be discouraging to some. However, if you go through it, you will undoubtedly see a full return on your investment.
Electric scooter sharing is a promising economy niche that has been winning the hearts of environmentally aware customers and forward-looking investors. The e-vehicle business sector works to improve the convenience of people’s everyday life, and create a cleaner future for everyone.
In this branch, there is enough space to evolve and transform the industry with innovative solutions. E-scooter sharing app development involves several steps and many aspects that will make app usage trouble-free and enjoyable.
Our app developers are ready to help you jump into the e-vehicle sharing business niche. Reach out to our team to develop and bring to fruition your unique scooter rental app project.