Electric scooter-maker Bird launched a new model on Sunday (Sept. 20) and is increasing its efforts to zip right past retailers to consumers.
Bird stated in a company blog that the Bird Air was "designed by our in-house team of aerospace and automotive engineers" with a special focus on safety.
The company calls the new model a “stow-and-go” vehicle and says it has never-flat tires "and enhanced front and rear lighting that makes Bird Air comfortable to ride and rugged enough to stand up to the demands of everyday use."
"Bird Air was born out of the groundswell of support we’ve seen this year for modeshift and micromobility as individuals increasingly demand sustainable, socially distant transportation alternatives for their active lifestyles,” Scott Rushforth, chief vehicle officer at Bird, said in a prepared statement. "While shared electric scooters like our Bird Two are one critical piece of the puzzle, personal vehicles such as Bird Air extend the reach and accessibility of micromobility to a much broader audience, meaning more people on two wheels and fewer people in cars."
The Bird Air's top speed is listed at 15 mph and its range on a single charge is 16 miles.
The model will be available internationally sometime in November, the company said.
While alternative modes of transportation have gained traction in cities around the world over the last few years – driven in part by significant improvements in battery performance – making profits by renting them remains a challenge.
Andrea Ellis, the chief financial officer of Lime, a company that rents electric scooters and bicycles, told PYMNTS in an article published on Monday (Sept. 21) that the company's leaders hope to achieve full-year profitability in 2021, a goal that has proved elusive in the sector.