Bird, the Santa Monica, California-based mobility startup that in May unveiled Bird One, a $1,299 e-scooter architected with “industry-leading” battery life, today took the wraps off of another compact electric vehicle — albeit one with a slightly different form factor. Bird Cruiser, which is designed for sitting rather than standing and looks not unlike a miniature motorbike, features a padded seat that can accommodate up to two riders and an optional pedal-assist or peg.
It will roll out this summer in unnamed test markets via Bird’s first-party service and its platform partners.
“Bird’s introduction of shared e-scooters spurred a global phenomenon and mode shift away from cars,” said Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden. “To further accelerate progress on our mission to make cities more livable, we are providing additional environmentally friendly micro-mobility alternatives — including Bird Cruiser.”
The Cruiser, which Bird says was exclusively designed for ridesharing, has hydraulic disc brakes that “reliably” and quickly bring the vehicle to a stop. It’s also powered by a 52-volt battery and boasts a built-in LCD display that shows route progress and other key trip details.
Even the motor is a custom job, apparently. Bird says it was specially engineered to ensure that rides aren’t “disrupted” by hills or inclines. “Cruiser is an inclusive electric-powered option that is approachable, easy-to-ride, and comfortable on rough roads,” added VanderZanden.
The Cruiser’s unveiling comes months after the company announced a monthly rental program to complement its existing on-demand service. For $25, Bird customers in San Francisco and Barcelona get unlimited rides on a personal scooter, with additional cities to follow.
Bird — which was founded in 2017 by former Lyft and Uber employees — has myriad competitors, but its chief rival might be e-scooter startup Lime, which has raised $765 million to date.
San Francisco-based Spin was snapped up by Ford for a reported $100 million last year. Meanwhile, Jump Bikes raked in $10 million last January before it was acquired by Uber in April and expanded into electric scooters. Overseas, Dutch startup Dott recently secured $23 million for its fleet of electric scooters and bikes, and Sweden’s Voi raised $50 million to expand its electric scooters to more cities across Europe.
Bird is undoubtedly better-funded than much of the competition, with recent contributions from Sequoia, Accel, Greycroft, and other investors valuing it at roughly $2 billion. It also has a broader geographic reach, operating across dozens of markets in the U.S., including in Santa Monica, where it’s headquartered, as well as Austin; Baltimore; Dallas; Detroit; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; and Paris.
The audio problem: Learn how new cloud-based API solutions are solving imperfect, frustrating audio in video conferences. Access here