Micro-Mobility Startup OjO Debuts A New Style Of E-Scooter Share

Posted by at 2:14 pm on January 23, 2019

New micro-mobility startup OjO is now preparing to roll out their sit-down electric scooter sharing platform in the US. With operations beginning in Austin, Texas, OjO’s new take on scooter sharing could signal a shift in the industry.

Functionally, OjO’s scooter sharing model will be similar to those of Bird, Lime and other electric scooter sharing companies. Scooters are parked free range-style around a city, waiting for users to unlock them and ride away, all via a smartphone application.

However, OjO’s scooters are starkly different from the popular razor-style electric scooters.

The OjO electric scooters more closely resemble Vespa-style scooters. They offer a seated riding position with a step-through frame design, and even offer a cargo trunk in the rear.

The OjO scooters will also travel faster than those offered by Bird and Lime, reaching speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h). With both front and rear suspension, a lower center of gravity and a steeper rake angle, the OjO scooters should be much more stable than conventional electric kick scooters.

Anyone who has ridden a bicycle will find the controls instantly more familiar and comfortable than kick scooters, further aiding in reducing the learning curve.

According to OjO CEO Max Smith:

“OjO Electric is taking shared-use scooters to the next level, greatly improving the accessibility and range of scooters with our groundbreaking commuter scooter, equipped with a seat, so riders can stand or sit. This is truly a scooter for everyone. Our OjO scooter is unique. It’s unlike anything the rideshare scooter market has seen and our rider experience is the safest on the streets.”

The scooters themselves offer more room for batteries, allowing a range of 50 miles (80 km) on a charge. Swappable 48V batteries allow the scooters to be quickly placed back into service when they eventually run out of charge. Current scooter sharing models like those by Bird and Lime require paying private citizens to collect and charge scooters in their homes.

OjO scooters will cost $1.25 to unlock and $0.18 per minute to ride. That’s slightly more expensive than the standard $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute charged by most other electric kick scooter companies.

OjO says that its scooters are intended only for bike lanes and street travel – not for sidewalks. Riders operating electric scooters on sidewalks has been one of the biggest source of complaints against the scooter sharing industry. The company claims that higher speed of 20 mph makes them safer options for city streets where they are better able to keep up with city traffic.

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