Bird Launches New Heavy-Duty Scooter With Long-Range Battery

Constructed with steel-reinforced aluminum, the Bird One is expected to have a lifespan four times longer than the model it replaces.

Bird

Scooter sharing has exploded in popularity, and that's led to a lot of broken scooters. Shared scooters take a lot of abuse, meaning they have short lifespans—much shorter than companies initially estimated. To address that, Bird is introducing a new, more durable scooter designed in-house. Called the Bird One, it will be used in the company's scooter-sharing fleet, but will also be available for people to buy.

Thanks to features like a steel-reinforced aluminum frame and fixed neck, Bird expects the One to have a lifespan four times longer than the scooters currently in its fleet. Those scooters are mostly models designed for retail sales to individual consumers, not sharing services. Just as passenger cars often need to be beefed up to serve as police cars or taxis, Bird believes a "commercial grade" design is needed to handle the rigors of scooter sharing. Bird also estimates a range of 30 miles per charge for the Bird One, which the company claims is greater than any other shared scooter.

The Bird One is actually the second scooter designed in-house by the company. The first, called the Bird Zero, was introduced in 2018 and the company is satisfied with its performance so far. Bird expects the Bird Zero to last over 10 months in its scooter-sharing service, which is enough to guarantee profitability and is a major increase over the three-month lifespan of previous scooters, CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a statement.

"Bird One builds on the benefits and learnings of Bird Zero and is forecasted to last in the sharing environment for well over a year," VanderZanden said. 

The first Bird One scooters should be hitting the streets of Los Angeles as you read this, with other North American cities to follow. Bird plans to gradually phase out older scooters and replace them with Bird One and Bird Zero models. The company said M365 models are already reserved for monthly personal rentals, and that it has stopped purchasing the Segway Ninebot ES.

Despite all of Bird's talk of commercial-grade design, individual consumers will be able to buy the Bird One. Bird said the scooter will only be available in limited quantities, but didn't quote a specific number. Buyers can choose from three colors—Jet Black, Dove White, and Electric Rose—with deliveries expected to begin this summer. The price is $1,299, and buyers get $100 in ride credits for Bird's shared scooters. Retail scooters also have a digital lock that can be activated remotely via a smartphone, as well as GPS to track the scooter if it's stolen. Bird even has its own "Hunter Network" to track down stolen scooters.