Report: LimePod’s Seattle carshare experiment rides off into sunset
A Lime spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the company will be shutting down its LimePod carshare service.
According to a report from Geekwire, cars will start leaving Seattle streets in October. The service will be completely shuttered by the end of 2019, with new sign-ups for the service ending on Oct. 14.
LimePod first launched in November 2018, featuring 500 cars spread across Seattle. In an email sent out to users, Lime boasted 18,000 riders in the city across over 200,000 total trips for the service.
The company stated that it ended the service due to its inability to find a partner to deploy an all-electric fleet of cars.
That said, some theorize that this is Lime pushing all its chips in on its soon-to-be launched e-scooter pilot program in Seattle.
“What you’re seeing in the industry is a lot of people experimenting with different ideas,” Former ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield told Geekwire. “LimePod was Lime’s experiment … that they want to end the experiment and focus on their core business doesn’t surprise me. You see this in these industries in transition.”
Between that and the exorbitant costs that run hand-in-hand with stocking, insuring, refueling, servicing, and maintaining a carshare fleet, Lime now stands primed to focus its energy (and money) on electric scooters.
The company also encountered issues when LimePod cars began getting used for joyrides, package thefts, and more. One vehicle was even found turned upside down in Lake City. Even so, a Lime spokesperson noted that crime wasn’t a factor in the move to shut down the service.