Scoot is a ride sharing service in San Francisco that has been in business since 2012. The heart of its operation is a fleet of electric scooters. Parking in major cities is always a problem, but it is especially bad in The City By The Bay. With Scoot, you simply pick up a scooter wherever you are, ride to where you are going, and leave it. Simple, convenient, and it is all done using a smartphone app. Scoot also has a limited number of Renault Twizy electric cars available.
Scoot has recently received a new round of funding thanks to Mahindra Partners and Vision Ridge, an investment firm that focuses on sustainability. The money will be used to add hundreds of Mahindra GenZe 2.0 electric scooters to Scoot’s fleet. Scoot founder and CEO Michael Keating sees the new funding as a clear sign of success. “We are proving that electric transportation can be both affordable and profitable,” he says. “We now have the vehicles and resources we need to scale the business, thanks to our partnership with Mahindra and the ongoing support of our earlier investors.”
Since the service began, Scoot riders have ridden more than 1 million zero emissions miles. Since the scooters are limited to a top speed of 30 mph, they are not considered motorcycles by the California DMV. That means riders don’t need a motorcycle license to operate them. Scoot offers a number of pricing plans and options for residents, depending on how often they use the service, but visitors to the city can obtain a 2 day Visitor Pass that provides access to the fleet. The electric scooters are great for running errands or getting anywhere in the city. They can even carry up to 75 pounds in the rear storage area.
Zhooben Bhiwandiwala, managing partner of Mahindra Partners, says: “Scoot’s service is both consumer friendly and ecologically sustainable. The problem they are addressing is global in nature and will grow in importance over the next few decades with the continued concentration of populations within dense urban centers.”
Part of the new money available to Scoot will be used to expand the ride sharing service to other cities, although the company has not released details of its expansion plans. We’ll have to wait to see which cities will be the next to get emissions free improvements to urban livability.