Scooter companies are becoming the new buzz in transportation. But despite a large number of competitors in the space, Bird, which is valued at over $2 billion, is the clear leader. Naturally, though, Bird has a tremendous responsibility to be eco-friendly, considering its high valuation and direct impact on the transportation industry.
That’s exactly what Bird is looking to at the moment. In fact, its Head of Sustainability sees Bird becoming “a full-on sustainability company”.
Bird’s Sustainability Challenges
Some of the challenges the company encounters include pollution from trips to recharge the scooters, power used for charging, and the durability of the scooters.
Each trip requires Bird to collect scooters that are out of charge, meaning the company wants to find a way to reduce the amount of trips needed.
Short durability of the scooters is another problem that’s well known to consumers. In fact, reports have suggested that each scooter lasts about 28.8 days, which is not a long time. This problem is attributed to the flimsy industrial design of the scooters, which means resources are being expended inefficiently to make the scooters.
Each of the challenges contributes to increased carbon emissions, which limits the sustainability of the scooters.
Bird’s Process To Sustainability
Last week, the company announced that it will be using renewable energy credits and carbon offsets in an effort to reduce their carbon emissions. Bird’s plan is to use these devices to make up for the energy it uses to power and deliver the scooters.
To address the issue of durability, Bird plans to make sturdier wheels, brakes, and weatherproof batteries. It hopes that with the changes to the durability the normal life span of one to two months will increase.
Bird is also making careful note of its carbon footprint. One of the steps it is taking is to understand how each scooter trip replaces a car ride. The benefit of identifying this information is to make an accurate decision on how energy efficient the electric scooter is.
Bird is one of the several companies that’s thinking differently by implementing electric scooters in urban areas. With scooters becoming more prominent in these areas, carbon emissions will drastically reduce. Last year, there was a total of 84 million rides through scooters and shared bikes. With Bird’s innovative electric scooters, the push towards sustainability continues to grow.
Surya is a writer for the Transportation section at The Rising and a Computer Science student at UC Santa Cruz.