California Venture

German E-Scooters Roll Into San Francisco

huGO-BildID: 46247574 Scoot Networks Scooter
Scooting around San Fran.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The U.S. start-up Scoot Networks wants to revolutionize urban mobility starting with 250 scooters from Govecs.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Scoot Networks operates a service similar to Zipcar or Daimler’s Car2Go, only with electric scooters rather than cars.
    • Scoot charges $5 an hour.
    • The Govecs e-scooters cost $5,000 apiece.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The small scooter elegantly turns the corner before drawing to a soundless halt. A young woman with tattooed arms takes off her helmet and shakes her partially green hair in the Californian sunshine. With a swing of her leg, she hops off and parks the red scooter before disappearing into a garage in San Francisco’s hip SoMa neighborhood.

Inside, electronic gear is piled high next to tires and other spare scooter parts. Tools lie next to a coffee machine atop a kitchenette attached to the wall in slapdash fashion.

“Yes, this is actually our office,” a young man with a hipster beard and antique watch says while giggling nervously and surveying the chaos.

Up some wiggly, white steps in the conference room, the heat of the Californian sun has combined with the musty air of hours of discussion.

Mike Waltman breathes it all in and drops into a chair. He just talked with Munich earlier today, says the 32-year-old.

“It’s really fantastic that the deal with the Germans went so fast and was so uncomplicated,” says the fleet boss of Scoot Networks, a scooter-sharing provider. While he’s talking, 150 electric scooters costing $5,000 (€4,471) apiece are being unloaded at the other end of the city.

We hope you enjoyed this free article.

Subscribe today and get full access to market-moving news in Europe's leading economy.