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Last-mile electric scooters — will they work?

I’ve been hearing a lot about Bird recently. Perhaps it has something to do with the $15 million Series A round they raised last month (February 2018) and the $100 million Series B round they announced earlier today.

A “Bird” is small electric scooters that look like this and can be rented from your phone for short haul trips. They are currently available in Santa Monica, Venice, UCLA, Westwood, and San Diego, and they are intended to be ridden in existing bike lanes.

What may be particularly interesting to this blog audience is the fact that Bird is calling itself a “last-mile electric vehicle sharing company.” The pitch: 40% of car trips (in the US?) are less than 2 miles long. Let’s replace those using electric scooters.

One of the first things that came to my mind is that this feels more accessible than cycling. Cycling to work can be a commitment. You have to think about your attire and the sweat factor, among other things.

Would you agree?

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