A true revolution for some and a nightmare for others, the electric scooter rental does not leave anyone indifferent, especially in the streets of the capital. Designed to be able to move freely and easily in the city, the poorly regulated use of the service has ended up irritating many Parisians.

Is renting an electric scooter in Paris still worth it or is it more interesting to invest in a more suitable model? Let's take an overview of this new means of extra-urban travel.

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The arrival of self-service electric scooters in Paris in 2018

Landed during the month of June 2018, the self-service electric scooters of Paris have flourished almost everywhere over the months in the metropolitan area.

First through the American brand Lime , it was ultimately a dozen competitors including Jump (Uber), Dott, Bird, Bolt and Tier among others who ended up taking the Parisian sidewalks by storm. Proof of this is that there is real enthusiasm for this micro-mobility solution.

Advantages of renting an electric scooter

free floating is a principle of sharing without the need for prior reservation. The obvious advantage here is to use this scooter rental to move as quickly as possible from point A to point B without any other constraints.

Available almost everywhere in the capital, all you have to do is use an electric scooter closest to you with its QR code and once finished leave it wherever you want. The locking and unlocking system is done exclusively using an application on your smartphone. To do this, you must scan the QR code.

You can drive in an eco-friendly way, without noise, without obstructing traffic with an imposing vehicle. It is thus possible, with a self-service electric scooter, to complete the last kilometer separating us from our destination, without having to wait for a possible bus, for example.

The problems caused by renting free floating scooters

Unfortunately, due to not very precise rules of use, combined with the incivility of certain users (vandalism), this ended up overwhelming the inhabitants of the capital. The Paris town hall which had until then let the operators do their thing, aware of the population's need for ecological travel, had to impose constraints in order to guarantee a less chaotic service.

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The highway code not respected

The arrival of electric scooter rental in Paris and the increase in accidents on the road have highlighted the need for more precise regulations in the highway code for all scooter users.

The legislation of July 2020 therefore made it possible to better regulate the circulation of these new vehicles in order to no longer see, for example, two users on a single machine or even to use a Lime scooter to ride among pedestrians at 20 km/ h or 25 km/h (the maximum speed on the road).

Self-service electric scooter parking problem

Even if traffic may have caused some problems in public spaces (but what vehicle doesn't cause problems?), the real crux of the problem comes from the parking of these devices. Users can leave them wherever they want without any place provided for this, the sidewalks were quickly littered with self-service electric scooters, preventing pedestrians from moving around without hindrance.

degradation of rental equipment

By subsequently occupying spaces reserved for cars, Parisian scooters have irritated more than one driver who cannot find a way to park their vehicle. Some have even taken justice into their own hands by throwing these electric scooters from Paris directly into the Seine or even by covering the QR code on the vehicles with paint.

Charging problem for scooter operators

Beyond these inconveniences mainly linked to users, there is one, much more pernicious, which has called into question the presence of the Paris self-service electric scooter. It's the recharge one! Although the majority of people do not think about it, it is nevertheless necessary to recharge the batteries of these machines (offering a range of between 30 and 50 km) so that they can be used the next day.

Without this, point of service for operators of free floating scooters.

Unfortunately, nothing had really been planned before the arrival of electric scooter rental in Paris. Without a fixed point of attachment, the scooters must be picked up by independents, not working solely for a single operator like Lime or Bird.

These Juicers, as they call themselves, collect and plug into a power outlet in a fairly anarchic manner the some 15,000 electric scooters available for rental in Paris.

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This has led to abuses with Juicers recharging devices without taking into account safety measures or even recharging directly on the street using gasoline generators. Far from the ecology offered by electric scooters!

Up to twelve scooter rental apps

In barely a year, twelve operators have shared the streets of the capital. A significant number which has only driven prices down and the number of problems caused to increase.

Apart from the pioneer Lime , equipped with a fleet of Ninebot scooters , it was possible to choose other operators such as Bird, the second most popular service with users, but also Circ, Dott, Jump, Voi, Bolt (supported by Usain Bolt), Wind, Hive, Tier and finally B Mobility . An obvious headache for Parisians having to juggle between various applications.

Three self-service scooter operators authorized in 2021 in Paris.

Since well before confinement, the city of Paris has wanted to promote this gentle mobility. But all this within a better defined framework so that the activity of scooter rental operators does not drive the Ile-de-France residents crazy.

After reaffirming the ban on parking on sidewalks in 2019, Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, therefore issued a call for tenders to free-floating operators aiming to reduce the number of electric scooter sharing services to just two or three.

Which operators are selected by Paris town hall

Since the start of the school year in September 2020, the companies Dott , Lime and Tier are the only ones able to circulate their machines in the capital for a period of 2 years. These three operators have all signed an agreement to occupy public space authorizing them to each deploy 5,000 electric scooters for a fee .

The selection criteria were based on environmental responsibility, safety as well as maintenance and recharging of these electric scooters in free sharing. 2,500 parking spaces were created during the summer to accommodate 6 scooters each

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Enough to normally respond to the ever-growing demand from users, especially post-Covid, with a population seeking to avoid the promiscuity of Parisian transport.

Lime scooter, the American giant

First to arrive on the Parisian market , the American operator Lime , supported by various investor groups (including Axios, and Andreessen Horowitz who had helped finance Twitter), has therefore not lost its place after two years. in the capital. The electric scooter rental company is now valued at several billion .

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Lime scooters, with its Lime-S , are based on models from Segway-Ninebot (hence the -S). They can reach a maximum speed of 24 km/h with 50 km of autonomy. Characteristics very similar to the Ninebot ES1 scooter with its external battery.

Its application, associated with Uber, makes it easy to find a scooter on your way, as can activating the horn remotely to better identify the chosen vehicle. Very intuitive, it also indicates directly in it the number of kilometers remaining on the device.

Regarding prices, Lime works like a virtual wallet where it is necessary to deposit 10 euros for the first use. You will then be charged 1 euro for the scooter upon pick-up, as well as 20 cents per minute.

Dott Scooter, the cheapest service

One of the last services to arrive in Paris still managed to make its place. Dott offers lightweight electric scooters of its own design, equipped with a large wheel and a large deck for more comfort on the feet, this model reaches a maximum speed of 20 km/h .

Available upon arrival only in the 13th arrondissement, Dott electric scooters for rental have since been found almost everywhere in the City of Lights.

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Cheaper than its competitors when they were all in Paris, it will only cost you 15 cents per minute in addition to the 1 euro support. Easily recognizable, the models are rich in color and undeniably catch the eye in the street.

Tier, the most robust electric scooters

Landed at the end of 2018 along the Seine, the German start-up Tier had up to 1,500 vehicles . Unfortunately the service was forced to suspend its service for an entire summer, due to numerous damages suffered by their two wheels.

Returned last year, the Tier company is the only one to offer self-service electric scooters with removable batteries . If this may seem anecdotal to the user, it is not the same from an ecological point of view. Instead of having to pick up thousands of vehicles by truck every night to recharge them, Tier had just a few employees rolling around a cargo bike to replace empty batteries with full ones.

With the arrival of charging stations, this advantage risks disappearing but Tier places great emphasis on being the first ecomobility company to operate in a completelyclimate neutral way /strong>. A point which undoubtedly made the difference at the Paris town hall level when it was necessary to make a choice among the numerous candidate operators.

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The scooter model called Tier 3 contrasts radically with the other operators. If Tier previously used Segway-Ninebot ES2 and ES4 , this latest model designed, in partnership with the Okai company, weighs nearly 29 kg including 4 kg of battery and has large wheels.

Their electric scooter is extremely robust to achieve a reliable system where the electrical connections do not disconnect at the slightest shock. A way of responding, again, to the environmental challenge compared to other self-service scooters with asometimes very short lifespan.

The price is affordable and like Dott, you have to settle for a service fee of one euro then 15 cents per minute.

Electric scooter rental versus purchase, what to choose? 

The future of electric scooter rental is subject to the same issues as shared cars and bikes. All stakeholders must be able to benefit from this in order to maintain these services and offer a reliable and sustainable solution.

This is why we think at Weebot that the non-shared electric scooter in Paris still has a lot of future. Owning your own scooter is an investment but used on a daily basis, it is less expensive than being dependent on the services of self-service operators.

€80 per month for renting an electric scooter in Paris

Let's take the example of a person using a free-floating electric scooter every day to get to their workplace. By using Lime scooters, for a 5-minute journey in the morning and the same at the end of the day, it will cost 80 euros per month. That's as much as a monthly Navigo subscription offering unlimited journeys throughout Île-de-France.

Over the year we approach 1000 euros , as much as the high-end models that we sell in our store which will not have any autonomy problems, drive faster (exceeding 25 km/h) and can easily cross slopes without loss of speed.

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Inöe Sweemie, the best waterproof electric scooter for the city

If you are considering purchasing an electric scooter in Paris , we recommend the excellent Inöe Sweemie . A waterproof electric scooter model for the city, absorbing the shocks of cobblestones with its front suspension fork and its large 10-inch inflatable wheels .

trottinette électrique étanche inoe sweemie

This new electric scooter comes from the world of freefloating with its advantages such as high water resistance. Indeed with its IP67 waterproofness, this scooter will ride whatever the weather in Paris. An inexpensive electric scooter model that will easily replace a rental scooter subscription in Paris.

Buying a scooter is much more environmentally friendly than renting

The other great advantage of purchasing an electric scooter is the one we talk about the least. According to a Quartz survey, the average lifespan of a self-service scooter is only 28.8 days . The impact on the environment would therefore not be as good as it seems at first glance. Even if this is still less polluting than a thermal car, the damage suffered by these machines means that they must often be renewed if they cannot be repaired.

Each solution therefore has its advantages and disadvantages. These various solutions, shared or not, are not incompatible and can coexist in order to offer an ecological mobility solution suitable for each person.

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Can two people ride a free floating electric scooter?

According to the law, and for your safety, it is prohibited for more than one person to ride an electric scooter. Failure to comply with this rule is punishable by a fine of 135 euros.

What is the age required to use a self-service electric scooter?

If driving an electric scooter in France is possible from the age of 12, creating an account on self-service scooter applications is generally reserved for adults only.

What's the point of buying an electric scooter compared to rental services?

Buying your own electric scooter in Paris is a long-term investment. If you plan to travel daily, it is more profitable to have your own scooter than to use a free floating service paying by the minute. Additionally, there are much more durable and powerful models available for purchase.

Do you need insurance to drive a rental model?

It is mandatory to have civil liability insurance to be able to ride a Lime electric scooter. However, the services of Dott and Tier are already equipped in their insurance contract in the event of an accident with one of their electric scooters in Paris.

Can you park an electric scooter on Parisian sidewalks?

No, it is no longer possible to leave your self-service electric scooter parked anywhere on the sidewalks. Since September 2020, parking lots have been available in Paris (2,500, each of which can accommodate 6 shared scooters).

Can we borrow the self-service scooters at any time?

Yes, electric scooters are available for rental at any time of the day or night. Simply see on the app whether the battery life is sufficient for your trip.

How to unlock a lime scooter?

To unlock a Lime scooter, you must scan the QR code or enter its registration number using the Lime app on Android or iOS. In case of low light, remember to activate the flashlight option to scan the code present on the Lime.

Is a helmet obligatory on an electric scooter?

No, unlike a bicycle, a helmet is still not obligatory on the handlebars of an adult electric scooter (at the time of writing this article). However, if you have one, it is advisable to wear it because there is a risk of falling on these shared vehicles.

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Conclusion of this scooter rental guide

The post-containment period is therefore an ideal opportunity for electric scooter rental operators to prove their reliability and environmental commitment over the long term.

By leaving the free floating model for that of docking stations, the Lime, Tier and Dott scooters now have two years to prove themselves and respond to the important challenges what electric autonomous travel represents, knowing that in the event of failure, their contract may not be renewed.

The year 2021 is therefore crucial for these electric scooter rental companies. With the country facing the coronavirus epidemic, users are increasingly tempted to buy an electric scooter in Paris in order to avoid possible contamination on a self-service model.

What is certain is that the future of urban mobility involves more personal travel by electric scooter, whether rented or not. As cars are increasingly driven out of cities, users are turning to these new means of ecological urban travel.

trottinette electrique ninebot f2e pas cherTrottinette Électrique Ninebot F2 E Plus - by Segway - Weebot
Ninebot Ninebot F2 E Plus Electric Scooter - by Segway
Sale price€559.00
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