Lyft is teaming up with Segway-Ninebot as it updates its shared scooter fleet, TechCrunch reports. Lyft's scooter service first launched last September in Denver and it now spans nine US cities. And though it first deployed Xiaomi-built scooters, the China-based company later sent Lyft a cease-and-desist letter, saying in October that it didn't "condone Lyft's unauthorized modification or retrofitting" or its electric scooters. With Segway-Ninebot as an official partner, however, Lyft can hopefully avoid that kind of conflict going forward.
The partnership comes just as Segway-Ninebot unveiled its next generation of scooter -- the Model Max. This new scooter is supposed to be more weather resistant and reliable than previous models, making it less susceptible to wear and tear and more ideal for shared use.
"I think we're learning, you know," Ethan Eyler, Lyft's head of brand for bikes and scooters, told TechCrunch. "I mean, this scooter is the result of a lot of learnings that we've done and seeing how the scooters hold up. And with the entire strategy behind charging and swappable batteries and charging, we're learning from all of that to kind of get to our ultimate plan."
Lyft is also planning to add Segway-Ninebot scooters with swappable batteries to its fleet "soon," Eyler said. And it's developing docking systems for its scooters as well, according to TechCrunch. However, unlike some other companies, Lyft isn't currently working on any locks for its shared scooters. Scoot announced in November that it was developing locking systems in an attempt to curb theft and vandalism.
Lyft plans to add the new scooters to its fleet late in the next few months.