Paris e-scooter share scheme is European first

US-based start-up sets sights on Europe, starting with French capital

A new form of transport sharing service will hit the streets of Paris on Friday, June 22, as a US start-up launches its electric scooter operation in the city.

Lime's e-scooters are already hugely popular in the company's Silicon Valley base and in cities across America including Seattle, Austin and San Diego. With this week's launch in Paris, it has become the first to try to crack into the potentially lucrative European market.

Several hundred e-scooters will be deployed in the city and can be located and hired via a smartphone app at a cost of €1, plus €0.15 per minute. They can be picked up and left anywhere - but the service will only be available between 6am and 9pm.

The scooters can reach speeds of up to 25kph and will run for 50km on a single charge.

Lime operates bike hire services in the US, as well as Berlin and Frankfurt. The Paris launch of its e-scooters follows a successful trial in Zurich.

But, the proliferation of e-scooters in some US cities has sparked anger among residents, who have complained about inconsiderate users on pavements and scooters thrown carelessly onto the floor once a user has finished with them. Two cities, San Francisco and Santa Monica, have proposed operators require a permit to offer scooter-share services, as well imposing as strict limits on the number of scooters allowed to be in circulation at any given time.

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