Lime has already dropped its bike and scooter rentals in 88 locations, 27 US states and 17 cities in 10 other countries, and now, it’s adding cars to its metropolitan mix.
Bloomberg reports the San Francisco-based startup plans to deploy 1.5k of its “LimePods” to the streets of Seattle by 2019.
LimePod, not iPod
LimePods will operate similarly to its bike and scooter offerings. It plans to start by throwing 50 on the streets (and 500 by the end of the year). Users will use its app to find cars, then unlock them for $1, with a subsequent 40 cents per minute after that.
LimePods, described as “free-floating” carsharing to distinguish it from services like Zipcar (where each vehicle has a designated location), will top out at around 40 mph, but in the meantime, the company has purchased several hundred gas-powered two-door Fiat 500 cars to get a head start.
So much for getting cars off the streets
Of course Lime argues its new automobile business still fits into its mission of reducing car use. A 2016 study from a similar company, Car2Go, found it led to a 6 to 16% drop in the number of miles the average household traveled by car.
Listen, we’re no doctors, nor ones to ignore data, but… Car2Go and a similar competitor, ReachNow, have already flooded Seattle with fleets of about 700 vehicles each.
Now, Lime’s adding another 1.5k golf carts to the already packed Seattle streets? Fuggetaboutit.