real revolution for some and hell for others, renting an electric scooter leaves no one indifferent, especially in the streets of the capital . Thought to be able to move freely and easily in the city, the poorly supervised use of the service ended up irritating many Parisians .

Is renting an electric scooter in Paris still worth it or is it better to invest in a better suited model? Let's take a look at this new means of extra-urban travel.

self-service electric scooter rental lime paris

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

Unloaded during the month of June 2018, self-service electric scooters in Paris have flourished everywhere over the months in the agglomeration.

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

Benefits of electric scooter rental

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

Available everywhere in the capital, just use an electric scooter closest to you with its QR code and once finished leave it where you want. The locking system, unlocking happens exclusively using an application on his smartphone. To do this, you need to scan the QR code.

We thus drive in an ecological way, without noise, without blocking the 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 exceeding the inhabitants of the capital. The mayor of Paris , which had until then let the operators do what they wanted, aware of the population's need in terms of ecological transport, had to impose constraints in order to guarantee a less chaotic service.

self-service electric scooter rental sidewalk parking

Highway code not respected

The arrival of electric scooter rentals 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 has 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 posed some problems in the public space (but what vehicle does not?), the real crux of the problem comes from the parking of these devices. Users being able to leave them wherever they want without any place provided for it, the sidewalks were quickly littered with self-service electric scooters, thus preventing pedestrians from moving around without hindrance.

damage to rental equipment

By subsequently occupying places reserved for cars, the Parisian scooters annoyed more than one driver who could not find a way to park their vehicle. Some have even done themselves justice by swinging these electric scooters from Paris directly into the Seine or by covering the QR code on the vehicles with paint.

Charging problem for scooter operators

Beyond these inconveniences mainly related 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 refill ! If the majority of people do not think about it, it is nevertheless necessary to recharge the batteries of these machines (proposing a range of between 30 and 50 km) so that they can be used the next day.

Without this, there is no service for free-floating scooter operators.

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

These Juicers as they call themselves, pick up and plug into a power outlet in a rather anarchic way the some 15,000 electric scooters available for rent in Paris.

self-service electric scooter rental juicers lime charging socket

This has led to drifts with Juicers recharging devices without taking into account security 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 pulled prices down and the number of worries 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 soft mobility. But all this in a better defined framework so that the activity of rental scooter operators does not drive the inhabitants of the Ile-de-France region crazy.

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

Which operators are selected by Paris City 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 for the occupation of 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 the maintenance and charging of these free-sharing electric scooters . 2500 parking spaces have been created during the summer to accommodate 6 scooters each

charging reception station self-service electric scooter rental

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

Lime scooter, the American giant

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

self-service electric scooter rental lime paris

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

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

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

Scooter Dott, the cheapest service

One of the last services to have arrived in Paris has nevertheless managed to make its mark. Dott offers light electric scooters of its own design, equipped with a large wheel and a wide deck for more comfort at the level of the feet, this model reaches a maximum speed of 20 km/h .

Available upon arrival only in the 13th arrondissement, Dott electric scooters for hire have since been found all over the city of light.

self-service electric scooter rental dott paris

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

Tier, the most robust electric scooters

Landed at the end of 2018 along the Seine, the German start-up Tier had counted up to 1,500 vehicles . Unfortunately the service had been 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 for the user, it is not the same on the ecological level. Instead of having to pick up thousands of vehicles by truck every night to recharge them, Tier was content with a few employees moving a cargo bike to replace empty batteries with full ones.

With the arrival of charging stations , this advantage may disappear but Tier is very insistent on being the first ecomobility company to operate in a completely climate-neutral way. A point which undoubtedly made the difference at the level of the town hall of Paris when it was necessary to make a choice among the many candidate operators.

German tier self-service electric scooter rental

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 to respond, again, to the environmental challenge compared to other self-service scooters with a sometimes very short lifespan .

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

Electric scooter rental against purchase, what to choose?

The future of electric scooter rental is conditioned by the same issues as car and bike sharing. It is necessary that all the actors can benefit from it in order to make these services last in order to offer a reliable and sustainable solution.

This is why we at Weebot believe that the electric scooter in Paris not shared still has a lot of future . Owning your own scooter is an investment but used on a daily basis, it is cheaper than being dependent on the services of self-service operators.

80€ per month for the rental of an electric scooter in Paris

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

Over the year we are approaching 1000 euros , as much as the top-of-the-range models that we sell in our shop which will not have any autonomy problem, drive faster (exceeding 25 km/h) and will be able to easily negotiate slopes without losing speed.

trottinette électrique étanche inoe sweemie

Inöe Sweemie, the best waterproof electric scooter for the city

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

inoe sweemie waterproof electric scooter

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 roll whatever the weather in Paris. A cheap electric scooter model that will easily replace a rental scooter subscription in Paris.

Buying a scooter much more ecological than renting

The other big advantage of buying an electric scooter is the one we talk about the least. According to a survey by Quartz , the average lifespan of a self-service scooter is only 28.8 days . The environmental impact would therefore not be as good as it seems at first glance. Even if this is always 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 perfectly coexist in order to offer an ecological mobility solution suitable for each person.

self-service electric scooter rental application lime paris


Can two people ride a free-floating electric scooter?

According to the law, and for your safety, it is forbidden for more than one person to ride on 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, the creation of an account on self-service scooter applications is generally reserved for adults only.

What is 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 scooter than to use a free floating service that pays by the minute. There are also much more resistant and powerful models available for purchase.

Do we have to have insurance to ride with 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 we park an electric scooter on the sidewalks of Paris?

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 (2500 can each accommodate 6 shared scooters).

Can we borrow self-service scooters at any time?

Yes electric scooters are available for rent at any time of the day and night. You just have to see on the application if the battery life is sufficient for your journey.

How to unlock a lime scooter?

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

Is the helmet compulsory on an electric scooter?

No, unlike the bike, the helmet is still not mandatory on the handlebars of an adult electric scooter (at the time of writing this article). On the other hand, it is advisable, if you have one, to wear it because the risk of falling on these shared vehicles can happen.

self-service electric scooter rental tier helmet

Conclusion of this scooter rental guide

The post-lockdown 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 meet the major challenges of autonomous electric transport , 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 depends on more personal travel by electric scooter, whether rented or not. As the car is increasingly driven out of cities, users are turning to these new means of ecological urban travel.

Mobilité urbaineTrottinette électrique
mobilité urbaineWeebot Team