Lime to kick-off electric car sharing service in Seattle
Light electric vehicle sharing company Lime is looking at the heavier end of the market, media reports suggest. The U.S. start-up wants to add small electric cars to their rental line-up of pedelecs and electric scooters and a pilot project is planned already.
The trial will see Lime launch a fleet of up to 500 electric cars in Seattle. So far, reports suggest Fiat could deliver the electric vehicles but also the Renault Twizy was mentioned. The latter had already been part of a pitching deck that first outlined Lime’s EV sharing plans in June this year reportedly.
Now plans seem to have become more concrete. The initial report by The Information quoted “people familiar with the matter” speaking of said fleet of Fiat cars. Endgadget picked up the story first and said Lime filed an application for Seattle’s car-sharing program in October. This means the launch could indeed be imminent.
Seattle is also likely because LimeBike is already operating a huge fleet of electric bikes in Seattle (we reported) but had to withdraw their kick-scooter service there recently.
Their new electric car sharing service is said to work like their other service. This means the electric cars or Renault’s quads would free float within the designated service area. While Seattle is an open-minded city, Lime will have to face rivals however. Both Car2Go and DriveNow operate a fleet in town that also allows for free floating.
Interestingly enough though, Lime turns around a trend by venturing into car territory. In the last few weeks, major carmakers had started to look into sharing services of light electric vehicles Lime specialises in. Among them is MyTaxi by Daimler reportedly and also GM said they want to build up an electric two-wheeler brand to enter the e-bike business.
The carmakers follow prospects of profit it appears or maybe investment trends. Only in July Lime collected 335 million dollars in funding and counts Google’s Alphabet and Uber among their backers.