Sharing provider Bird announces a ten-fold increase in its fleet of electric kick-scooters and says it will add 50 more European cities this spring. Bird will drive the expansion with a new model that features more range.
The so-called Bird Zero e-scooter is said to offer a 60 per cent longer battery life than its predecessors. The sharing company suggests that this is the “first electric scooter designed and engineered specifically for the e-scooter sharing industry,” and so it is unclear who the Californians have been working with on it.
Apart from a 60% bigger battery, the Bird Zero also has fatter tires and longer board for increased stability. Given the latest reports concerning accidents and fatal injuries that led some cities to kick little EVs right out again, this may be well in order. Bird added that a better GPS and a bigger integrated display will better locate the new e-scooters via the app and may help to be more aware of one’s speed as well.
In terms of expansion, the company continues to focus on Europe. Last year, tests kicked off in the German town of Bamberg, where regulation is still complicated. More so, Bird runs fleets of pedal-scooters in Paris, Tel Aviv, Brussels, Antwerp, Vienna, Zurich and initiated a pilot in London. Again, UK regulation has yet to catch up with this form of micro-mobility and so far, they are limited to run on a stretch in the Olympic Park.
Recent launches in Malaga, Lisbon, Warsaw, Lyon, and Madrid have seen Bird double its European footprint, according to the company. The statement fails to specify the 50 new towns on the list for e-scooter sharing in Europe but includes the Middle-East as well.
EU officials classify the electric kick-scooters as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEV). Germany has long permitted their use but a law change may come as soon as 17 May reportedly. You can find the details here but essentially it is a harmonisation with European legislation.