How to Develop a Scooter Sharing App in 2020? [A Complete Guide]
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By: Manish Shewaramani

How to Develop a Scooter Sharing App in 2020? [A Complete Guide]

Electric Scooters are an amazing way to commute to your workplace, home, etc. It’s fun and fast. If you’re planning to start your scooter sharing services and looking forward to building a ‘scooter sharing app’ for the same, you might be wondering how you will make your app go viral?

The reason why you’ll get business is that it targets a niche audience. You’ll have to choose the appropriate area/place/city where people love to ride scooters. Once you’ve identified the right place, it’ll be easier for you to acquire that audience.

If you’re planning to launch your scooter sharing app in the USA, you must target cities like San Diago, Santa Monica, San Jose, Washington DC, Los Angeles, etc.

Evolution of Scooter Sharing App

The growth of electric scooter apps is evidential. The market size of the scooter sharing app was measured $17.43 billion in 2018. The market is expected to grow at a rate of 8.5% annually.

us-electric-scooters-market

Numbers show that the market is growing at a steady rate and is rapidly becoming a trend in some of the major cities of the USA. They are becoming part of daily commutes for activities like attending college, going to the office, classes, and more.

One of the primary reasons why VCs are hunting electric scooter sharing startups is because of the worldwide climate change movement. Plus, the government is also quite supportive of startups that work for environmental conservation.

What’s all the fuss about Electric Scooters?

There is no doubt that mobile apps are changing the face of the transportation industry, which is the second reason for the rise of scooter apps. Below are a few reasons why scooter sharing apps like Lime, Bird, and Goat gained popularity.

e-scooter

Less Expensive

Needless to say, that price is one of the primary factors for customers to adopt a particular trend. When compared to cab sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, a scooter sharing app turns out to be a cheaper solution for the daily commute.

A ride on a scooter costs around $2-3, compared to (an average) $20 for a trip of a cab. The low prices will also attract the college and low wage audience to use the app.

It’s Fun

In an era where on-demand cab sharing has been for a decade now, electric scooters are breaking the stereotype, which attracts customers. In a survey by bikeportland.org, 28% of the Portlanders choose to ride an electric bike because it was pure fun.

There are laws in different states for a person to ride an electric scooter. However, the amount of paperwork required to ride an electric scooter is quite less than in non-electric vehicles.

Parking-friendly and Portable

Electric scooters are portable. You can carry them on buses, metro, crossing roads, etc. Compared to parking a car, parking an electric scooters require little or no effort as they can fit anywhere.

Environment-friendly

Electric bikes/scooters spread zero air and noise pollution, which is one of the major concerns in not only the USA but in the whole world. Countries like India and China are heavily suffering from noise and air pollution.

Therefore you can use Environmental factors as a USP to sell your product to customers.

A Quicker Option

Another most significant concern of the public is traffic. No one likes to get stuck in a traffic jam, which brings us to electric scooters. They save our time not only in heavy traffic but also save our time in parking.

Your Personal Small Distance Travelling Companion

E-scooters are a fantastic way to finish small tasks. When a person has to travel a short distance, which can’t be covered by walking and will cost more upon taking a cab, electric scooters come to the rescue.

Challenges associated with starting a scooter sharing company

There are five major challenges that one could face while starting their scooter sharing business:

Getting permission from cities

getting permission from cities

Despite having so many benefits, companies might face a challenge in starting their business in some cities. For instance, if you launch a scooter sharing service, you first need to take permission from the local authorities.

They will decide which companies will operate and which ones will not. Lime and Bird, which are a popular scooter sharing services provider, faced this problem while launching their kick scooter sharing services in San Francisco.

Funding

Funding

The reason why the scooter sharing business is thriving is the USA is because of the VCs. If they stop offering funds, the current services providers will go bankrupt.

Big shots like Bird, Jump, and Lime will still have a chance to survive. However, companies like Scoot, Skip, and Spin will not have a chance to survive without funding.

The ultimate option for such companies would be to get acquired or merge with the big shots. It will reduce competitiveness, which will ultimately lead customers to suffer because of the monopoly.

Lack of technology adoption

Lack of technology adoption

A scooter sharing app can fail because of not using enough technology to save their business. Your business can perish if your customers don’t take enough care while driving or parking the scooter at the right place.

Therefore, before you allow customers to use your services, you must educate them enough not to make any mistakes while driving or parking. It will help you save your company’s reputation.

To make sure that the customers are using your services appropriately, you can incentivize the ones who are following the rules and penalize the ones who aren’t. You will have to implement advanced technologies to measure and track such activities.

Lack of infrastructure

lack of infrastructure

Since the vehicles run on electricity, they need a well-established charging infrastructure to sustain in the market. European countries, despite being one of the early adopters of electric scooters, do not have the required infrastructure to charge scooters.

Companies will have to establish enough parking spaces and charging stations across the city. Moreover, the government will also have to provide support by developing separate pathways or pavements for such scooters.

Seasonal business

seasonal business

Scooter sharing is a seasonal business in some cities. In winters during the snowfall, these scooters lose their mobility, which leads to a decline in business.

However, if you are a high-risk taker and have a huge loyal customer base, you can continue to offer services even during winters. Provided the streets are not covered in snow.

How to develop a scooter sharing app? [Must-Have Features]

Onboarding

Make the sign-up process as simple as possible for new users. The less time you take to onboard them, the more likely they are to use your service. You can use an interactive tutorial to introduce users to your scooter sharing app.

Google Maps Integration

Google Maps API is a must-have API for apps that work in the transportation sector. Integrating maps will help your customers to locate the nearby scooter station and navigate them to their desired destination or a charging station.

QR Code Scanner

QR code scanners can be used to lock and unlock the scooter from the parking dock. Apps like Bird and Lime use the scanner SDKs for Android and iOS operating systems.

ID Verification

The in-app scanner will also help to verify the IDs of a user. It will only allow creating an account if a person is over 18 years. To check the person’s age, you can use documents such as a driver’s license.

Smart Lock

You will have to keep an IoT-enabled locking and unlocking system, which would allow a user to lock and unlock the scooter upon scanning the QR code. To make this feature work, you will have to equip your bikes with a microcontroller-based system.

In-app Payments

The scooter sharing app must allow users to pay directly via the app. To make this feature a reality, you’ll have to integrate payment gateways such as PayPal, Braintree, and Stripe.

Ride Stats

Ride stats are essential to measuring customer drive efficiency. It will help you to judge a driver and incentivize or penalize based on it and help customers to drive better by providing driving suggestions.

Booking

Allow users to pre-book the scooter/s to plan a trip with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Social Media Integration

Engage your customers by allowing them to share their riding experiences on social media directly via the app. It will also help you acquire more customers.

Push Notifications

Use push notification services to tell them about discounts and offers, suggested routes, special events, and more.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Bird, Lime and Spin?

Customer-side App FeaturesAndroid AppiOS App
Design HoursDevelopment HoursDesign HoursDevelopment Hours
Registration/Login with Social Media440440
Google Maps Integration816816
Real-time GPS Tracking832832
Payment Gateway Integration816816
QR Code Scanning (Integration)816816
Lock and Unlock the scooter using QR Code880880
Social Media Integration816816
Online Booking832832
Ride Statistics824824
Push Notifications824824
ID Verification824824
Total Hours8430484304

 

Admin Panel FeaturesDesign HoursDevelopment Hours
Admin Base Setup and creating architecture88
Payment Management88
Analytics88
Customer Management816
Product Management816
Total Hours4056

Based on the above information, it’ll take a total of 872 hours to develop the entire application, including front-end and back-end.

If you develop the scooter sharing app from the USA, the average development rate per hour varies around $50 – $100 per hour. Hence, it will cost you about $43,600 – $872,000.

However, if you outsource mobile app development from India, the average development rate per hour will be $30 – $70 per hour. Hence, it will cost you approximately $26,160 – $61,040.

Monetization

There are three ways to monetize your scooter sharing app:

  • Show targeted ads in the application. For example, you can promote shops, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Sell memberships by offering your customers weekly, monthly, and annual pass.
  • Offer discounts to loyal customers by distributing coupons and promo codes.

Top Five Scooter Apps in the USA

#1 Bird

Bird

Based out of Santa Monica, California, Bird is a dockless scooter sharing app startup that is famous for operating electric scooters in 100+ cities worldwide.

The startup allows you to rent an electric bike in just a dollar. It costs 15 cents per minute. It offers both standing scooters and cruiser bikes to its customers.

The app allows customers to locate, lock, and unlock the scooter via the scooter sharing app.

Notable features of the app:

  • Smart lock
  • QR code integration
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Maps to find a nearby scooter

#2 Lime

Lime

Founded in the year 2017, Lime is one of the youngest and popular scooter sharing app in the USA. It helps their customers to move around in their cities in an affordable way.

Lime offers three modes of transportation to its customers, i.e., Lime-S (electric scooter), Lime-E (e-assist bike), and LimeBike.

Notable features of the app:

  • Find the nearby vehicle
  • Lock and Unlock the vehicle using vehicle ID or QR code
  • Secure and safe payment through payment gateway integration.

#3 Spin

Spin

Founded in the year 2016, Spin is an e-scooter startup that has raised total funding of $8 million from some of the most popular venture capitalists in the USA.

Currently Spin is available in more than 62 cities and 17+ campuses. Spin recently brought its stationless scooter sharing program to many of the popular cities of the USA.

Notable features of the app:

  • Google maps integration to find the nearest electric scooter
  • Enter payment details to receive an automatic free trip
  • Scan QR code to lock and unlock the vehicle

#4 Goat

Goat

Speaking of dockless electric scooters, Goat – an Austin based e-scooter startup has received official permission from the city’s transportation department for its program.

The company’s spokesperson has announced that it is planning to partner with more and more state governments across the nation.

Notable features of the app:

  • Search a nearby scooter
  • Lock and unlock scooter through the scooter sharing app
  • Schedule or reserve a scooter beforehand
  • Share the ride details with your friends with social media integration

#5 Swiftmile

Swiftmile

Swiftmile is a Silicon Valley startup that offers e-bike charging stations and corporate e-bike sharing systems. One can drive a Swiftmile bike for 40 miles on a single charge. It offers a top speed of 20 miles per hour.

Notable features of the app:

  • Reserve your electric bike in advance
  • Real-time issue-reporting through the scooter sharing app
  • Track and share trip details with your friends and family
  • Get ride summary at the end of each ride

Final Thoughts

The scooter sharing app development market is growing at a constant rate. The market is getting competitive. If you don’t invest in developing scooter apps now, then when?

If you have any e-scooter app development idea or you are ready to start your e-scooter sharing business with a dockless mobility platform app, get in touch with our scooter sharing app development experts now.

We have understood the scooter sharing app market quite well. We can help you acquire the market by creating a robust mobile application and a strong back-end.

Scooter Sharing App Development – FAQs

1) How long does it take to develop an app like Bird or Lime?

To develop a scooter sharing app along with an admin panel, it will take 600 – 900 manhours. It will include planning, designing, developing, testing, and deployment of the application.

2) How much will it cost to develop a scooter sharing app?

If you develop the app from the USA, it’ll take $50,000 to $80,000. However, If you outsource the app development from India, then it’ll take around $30,000 to $50,000.

3) How will your team offer to support post development?

We provide free support to all our clients for four weeks. After that, if you want to increase the support period, we ask our clients to take an AMC contact.

4) What development process do you follow to develop mobile applications?

We follow Agile software development practices such as Scrum to create mobile apps and web apps. We also have dedicated scrum masters in place to manage software development projects.



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