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Start Your Rental Business by Building an E-Scooter Sharing App

02.08.2022 Katrin Bertano,Xenia Shepard
Start Your Rental Business by Building an E-Scooter Sharing App

The problem of traffic jams, fuel costs, air and noise pollution have necessitated us finding solutions. One of these solutions is e-sharing businesses. Dockless bicycles, electric small motor scooters, and electric kick scooters (e-scooters) have perfectly fit into high-speed city life and have become a boon. E-scooter sharing has a special place in the vehicle rental market for the following reasons:

  • E-scooters are easier to maintain than electric small motor scooters; and
  • E-scooters are faster than bikes, which require riders to exert physical energy.

One of the reasons why e-scooters are becoming more popular is the easy-to-use e-scooter sharing apps. Therefore, the success of any e-scooter rental business highly depends on the quality of the app. But why is the app so important?

This article will help you to better understand why an e-scooter sharing app is a good investment through the discussion of the following:

  • What the e-scooter sharing business is and how it works;
  • The benefits of e-scooter sharing for users and for entrepreneurs;
  • E-scooter app sharing and statistics, including the downloads, usage, and general forecast;
  • The must-have features of a good e-scooter sharing app; and
  • How much it costs to build an e-scooter sharing app.

What Is the E-Scooter Sharing Business and How Does It Work?

The e-scooter sharing model has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years, and it is now considered one of the most profitable business models. Why is this? First of all, time is money. According to the data, the average daily commute in America is about 50 minutes of driving. Additionally, there’s a high risk of getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way to or from work. The amount of time people spend in traffic jams per year differs between cities:

  • 102 hours in Los Angeles;
  • 91 hours in New York;
  • 79 hours in San Francisco; and
  • 74 hours in London.

Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions are still increasing, and the greenhouse effect is worsening due to the increasing number of fuel-consuming vehicles on the road. This problem demands solutions. And this is where e-scooter sharing stands out as a good alternative to traditional means of transport. It’s an unusual option to get from point A to B quickly, such as a nearby office or the closest bus station, and there are no traffic jams. People also view e-scooter sharing as a kind of entertainment that they share with their families and friends.

The whole e-scooter sharing process is contained in an app as the customer uses it from the start of the trip until its conclusion. It takes just a few minutes to organize the ride in a series of simple steps.

The Benefits of E-Scooter Sharing for Both the Users and Entrepreneurs

E-scooters solve the problem of short distances, being stuck in traffic jams, and creating emissions, which are the same benefits as bike sharing. However, e-scooters are better than bikes due to their speed and their ability to stop riders from expending energy.

E-scooter sharing is great for many different reasons, including it being ecologically friendly, cheap, and simple to use. Thus, it is beneficial both for users and entrepreneurs. Some other advantages include:

  • Parking – There is one less headache in terms of where to leave the scooter;
  • Fuel economy – E-scooters have rechargeable batteries;
  • Speed – Unlike bike sharing, e-scooters are faster and don’t require riders to expend physical energy, allowing them to arrive at their destination full of beans and not sweaty;
  • No traffic – Taking an e-scooter allows users to reach their destinations quickly and on time;
  • Cheap – The average cost of an e-scooter trip is $3 to $4 dollars per ride, so this transport mode is useful for a large range of people, from students to businessmen; 
  • Noiseless – E-scooters are rather quiet and, as such, do not create noise pollution;
  • Eco-friendly – E-scooters are not associated with air pollution and do not affect the climate; and
  • Simple and cost effective – E-scooters are simple to maintain, and e-scooter sharing is cheaper than other types of sharing.

The speed and minimal effort required for e-scooter sharing has led to it growing in popularity. Moreover, people choose e-scooters because of the mobility and comfort provided by a well-developed app.

Owning an e-scooter sharing app ensures more profits for the entrepreneur for the following reasons:

  • There is high demand from the users. As soon as you launch the app, you will see many downloads, which will increase by leaps and bounds. Lots of people use e-scooters, so an e-scooter sharing app is a good option for searching for the closest vehicle for a short-distance trip;
  • There is very little competition. The e-scooter sharing market is still growing, so there are few competitors. Therefore, this business model has the chance to be a success;
  • There is governmental support in that e-scooter sharing is readily accepted by local governments due to all of its advantages; and
  • There are opportunities for additional income as advertisements could be included in the app, specials can be offered to members (e.g., weekly, monthly, or annual passes, family packages etc.), and customer loyalty can be increased by distributing promotional codes, coupons, and the like.

Therefore, e-scooter sharing apps are a good startup idea.

E-Scooter App Sharing and Statistics, including Downloads, Usage, and General Forecasts

The e-scooter sharing market has got its own leaders. Giants in the industry, such as Lime, Bird, Skip and the like, have spread from America to Europe. However, new sharing businesses are being started that are aiming for their piece of the cake.

Statistics will dispel any doubts you have as the numbers confirm that the e-scooter sharing business model is really gainful and is rapidly growing:

  The global e-scooter sharing market was worth US$20.78 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach US$22.28 billion in 2022;

  The e-scooter sharing market is expected to grow by 7.8% each year from 2022 to 2030. Therefore, by 2030, the market will total about US$40.6 billion;

  A compound annual growth rate of 15.42% is expected between 2022 and 2026, with a projected market value of US$2.818 million by 2026; and

  In Europe, the e-scooter sharing market is expected to reach at least US$12 billion by 2025.

An e-scooter sharing app plays an essential role in the e-scooter sharing business as, the more attractive and easy to use the app is, the better the download statistics will be. According to Statista:

  The leading e-scooter sharing companies have reached the following number of downloads worldwide in 2022: Bird has 5 million, Lime has 10 million, and Spin has 1 million;

  The number of users is expected to reach 124.8 million by 2026;

   The user penetration rate is 1.0% in 2022 and is expected to reach 1.6% by 2026; and

   The average revenue per user is expected to amount to US$20.60.

Therefore, several in-depth studies indicate rapid growth of the e-scooter market and emphasize the importance of e-scooter sharing both now and in the next 5 to 8 years.

Must-Have Features of a Good E-Scooter Sharing App

Naturally, e-scooters’ technical characteristics are important, and the speed, brakes, electric motor, wheels, and the like are more or less identical in all of these vehicles.

An app is also an essential part of the e-scooter rental business. An app that has an attractive design, easy navigation, and relevant functionality engages users and increases the number of downloads and trips, which ensures success for the business. An e-scooter sharing app also gives users the ability to use the vehicle through the smartphone display.

Popular e-scooter sharing apps have the following features:

  1. Real-time map – This allows the user to track all e-scooters, see the closest parking spot, and choose the closest vehicle. This requires the integration of Google maps into the app;
  2. Registration – The users’ personal accounts store the information on all of their trips, the length of the various routes, payments, and the like. Registration is even easier when users sign up using their social media or Google accounts. It’s also important that users upload their ID or driving license in order to verify their age; 
  3. Calculation of the costs and in-app payment – It’s much more convenient to pay for the trips by credit card. So, the app has the ability to calculate the amount of time the e-scooter will be rented for and use the credit card information to bill for the trip automatically; 
  4. Smart lock – The e-scooter has an anti-theft smart lock. The customer scans a QR code using the app in order to unlock the vehicle. When the trip is over, the user will park the e-scooter anywhere in the marked area indicated on the app’s map, and the scooter will lock automatically; 
  5. QR code scanner – A person scans a QR code on the e-scooter to receive all the information about it. In this case, the app will need access to the user’s camera on the smartphone; 
  6. Navigation – Information must be provided about the vehicle being used, including how to start the trip, the time of the ride, the amount of charge left in the battery, the headlight switch, and the like; 
  7. Booking – It’s great to book an e-scooter in advance as it allows users to plan their days more effectively. Moreover, this feature is also attractive for small groups of people, such as families, friends, and the like; and 
  8. Push notifications – This tool will allow you to communicate with the users. You can notify users about promotional offers, codes, special discounts, and more. This will engage the customers and increase their loyalty. 

An owner of an e-scooter sharing business needs to monitor all of their e-scooters, including their location, condition, battery power, and more. The app can help with that. An admin panel can be added for the management of the e-scooters when the app is being developed.

The admin panel could include:

  • The tariff rates – Manage and change the tariffs for e-scooter sharing depending on the location, time of day, and more;
  • E-scooter control – Track all of the e-scooters’ details, such as battery power, speed, total distance, and the like;
  • Ride control – Review the data for all of the completed, reserved, ongoing, or canceled rides;
  • Rider control – As an admin, you will have access to riders’ information, such as their trips, contact information, and payments; and
  • Advanced analytics – Access an analysis of your revenue. 

A well-developed app plays a large role in business development strategies, and it can be a useful tool in your business operations. Thus, an app benefits your customers and assures your comfort.

How to Build an E-Scooter Sharing App and Its Cost

The decision to invest in developing an e-scooter sharing app is only the beginning of the journey. In order to ensure a well-developed app and good quality for the price, you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Analyze the different software development companies. The cost of developing the app depends on the company and the developing team. The location, qualifications, and experience of the software engineers influence the cost of the app. In terms of the location, the cost per hour is higher in American or Western European software development companies and is much lower in Eastern European and Asian software development companies.
  2. Determine the developmental approach that suits you. Software development companies use different methodologies for building apps and programs, and each methodology has its specific details and monetary constraints. Take your expectations, goals, time limits and budget into account when searching for your dream team. You can read about the methodologies frequently used in this article.
  3. Select the main features you want the app to have. The cost of the app depends on the complexity of the features of the app. The basic features include navigation, map integration, registration, calculation of the cost of rental and in-app payments, QR scanner, and smart lock. Including an admin panel and additional features will increase the cost of developing the app.
  4. Think about the design and the size of the app. A complicated design and large size have the same 2 disadvantages: they require more money, and they lengthen the developmental period.

All these points influence the total cost of the app’s development, with the average sum varying between US$35 000 and US$80 000.

It normally takes a minimum of 350 hours to develop an app. Again, the amount of time spent developing the app depends on your preferences and the points mentioned above. If you want a specific calculation to ascertain a concrete price, we are ready to help you.

Conclusion

An e-scooter rental business is a good idea for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, e-scooters are an essential part of city life as they not only save time but also protect the environment. Secondly, this mode of transportation is more applicable to a wider selection of users than bikes as e-scooters are used by a range of people, from students to retirees.

Moreover, in 2021, the users of the Bird e-scooter sharing app saved about 1 125 000 gallons of gasoline, which is roughly equivalent to 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Thus, if you want to make a contribution to society and the environment, this is definitely the business model for you.

Now that you have all the information for building an e-scooter sharing app, it’s time to jump into the development process. Contact us to get all the details about your future app.

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