Competition heats up in the booming e-scooter market

Jessica Satherley
Competition heats up in the booming e-scooter market

The global electric scooter market is expected to be worth USD $42 billion by 2030 and New Zealand is not immune to the boom. 

Four new companies are now sharing Lime’s market domination – Beam, Uber-owned Jump, Wave and New Zealand-owned Flamingo. 

“E-scooters are the future of urban mobility in New Zealand,” Kiwi co-founders of Flamingo, Nick Hyland and Jacksen Love said. 

scooter guys

Jacksen Love (left) and Nick Hyland (right) from Flamingo

The 21-year-old entrepreneurs were inspired to set up their private-equity-funded company in Wellington after travelling through San Francisco last year. 

“We saw the rise in ride-sharing and e-scooters over there and knew it was something New Zealand needed more of, especially in terms of sustainable urban mobility,” they said. 

The new players are bringing hundreds more electric scooters to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, while Lime is still the only e-scooter brand available in Dunedin and the Hutt Valley. 

San Francisco-based Lime recently ruffled riders’ feathers when they increased their rate from 30 cents per minute, up to 38 cents per minute, without initially announcing the price hike. 

All of its new competitors, Flamingo, Wave, Jump and Beam are all charging 30 cents per minute, on top of the industry standard $1 unlocking rate. 

Lime was also temporarily banned from Auckland and Dunedin earlier this year after a technical glitch that led some scooters to have locking issues with the front wheels. 

Uber is one of Lime’s investors and the company also owns Jump, which has released 400 scooters in Wellington on trial until December 18. 

Christchurch has been flooded with 1000 scooters from Lime, 300 from Flamingo and 300 from Beam. 

Beam’s Head of Public Affairs, Brad Kitsche, said in a media release for the garden city: “We think that Christchurch e-scooter riders will come to enjoy Beam and will immediately experience the difference in our service. 

“We think the Christchurch community will recognise that our focus on safety and city amenity means a better experience for everyone.” 

Both Flamingo and Jump have had to invest in a scooter public education campaign alongside the Wellington City Council. 

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