Would you buy a scooter? Bird thinks so. The company is launching a new scooter that anyone can buy. The Bird One comes in black, white, and rose and is available on the company’s website for a whopping $1,300. It has a one-year warrantee and can be serviced through Bird’s centers.
The Bird One follows another scooter the company launched in April called Bird Zero. The scooter was introduced as a more robust version of its initial scooter, with weatherproof batteries and more durable parts. The company says it can last up to 10 months.
“Bird One builds on the benefits and learnings of Bird Zero and is forecasted to last in the sharing environment for well over a year. Given the excitement and demand for our next generation e-scooter, we are also making a limited supply of Bird Ones available to own. Now, whether you want to share, rent, or own, Bird provides an option for everyone,” CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden said in a prepared statement.
Bird now plans to phase out the NinebotES scooters on its platform. In the past, Bird has worked with both Xiaomi and Ninebot to source its scooters.
Bird One and Bird Zero are emerging amid questions about the company’s economics. Bird seems to have too closely hewed to the Silicon Valley adage fail fast. Its scooters were apparently failing too fast. According to city data from Louisville, KY, and an analysis by Quartz, Bird’s scooters had an average life span of less than a month. With its cheap rental rates, Bird appeared to be taking a big loss on its scooters. It’s no surprise the focus of both new scooters is longevity.
But this announcement isn’t just about long-lasting scooters; it’s about a business model expansion. Bird is now a vehicle manufacturer and seller. The move also allows it to get more scooters on the road even in undeveloped markets. Depending on whether there is demand for such a thing (Bird says that its own data indicates there is), scooter sales could be fairly lucrative for the company.
Already, Bird offers inspired entrepreneurs the opportunity to essentially franchise their own fleet of Bird scooters (in exchange for paying all the upfront costs to buy the scooters and paying Bird a 20% commission on rides).
Vandalism remains a dark stain on the scooter industry, and the threat of it might keep people from owning and renting out their scooters (not to mention the hefty price).
Correction: This post has been updated to clarify that the new scooters are only meant for personal use, not to be rented back on the platform.