Lime will become the first major micromobility operator to launch scooters in Africa. Early next year, Lime will roll out electric scooters in Cape Town, South Africa.
Unlike its model in the U.S. and Europe where it deploys scooters on public sidewalks, Lime will deploy its initial fleet of scooters at privately-owned locations throughout the city.
“Cape Town is helping lead the way forward on technology and innovation in Africa, and we’re excited to be a part of that story,” Lime Global Head of Operations and Strategy Wayne Ting said in a press release. “Our mission is to improve urban living through sustainable, affordable transportation, and we’re looking forward to extending meaningful mobility access and reduced carbon emissions to South Africans living in and traveling to Cape Town.”
Lime, however, will not be the only company operating micromobility services on the continent. Baddel, for example, operates a bike-share program in El Gouna, Egypt. Startup Smoove also operates bike-share in Marrakech, Morrocco. While competitor Bird has yet to deploy scooters in Africa, the company has expressed interest in deploying electric scooters on the continent.
“I definitely am keen to get that solution there as well because there is especially a very young and innovative population there that are very quick to adopt new solutions,” Bird Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa Patrick Studener told me last July.
In the coming weeks, Lime says it will also deploy scooters in the United Arab Emirates, as well Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Lime’s Abu Dhabi launch will mark Lime’s third market in the Middle East.