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1

ID: 139390

URL: https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/12/ubers-jump-scooters-get-a-makeover/

Date: 2019-06-12

Uber’s JUMP scooters get a makeover

Uber has unveiled a new model of its JUMP electric scooters, featuring a bigger frame and hand brakes. Uber plans to deploy these scooters in the U.S. on June 24 and in Europe later this summer. Uber first deployed electric scooters last October in Santa Monica, Calif. At launch, JUMP relied on Xiaomi Ninebot scooters, but thats no longer the case with version two. Instead, JUMP partnered with a different company — one Uber is not disclosing the name of — to build these scooters. Uber is innovating new mobility hardware to make it safer and easier for people to choose bikes and scooters over cars, Uber Head of New Mobility Rachel Holt said in a statement. The more our technology can expand access to bikes and scooters, the greener and less congested cities will be. While Uber does not specifically break out new mobility growth, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on an investor conference call for Q1 2019 that gross bookings for new mobility grew strong quarter over quarter. Ubers other bets, which includes freight and new mobility, saw gross bookings of $132 million for Q1 2019. That represented 230% growth from the same quarter last year, while ridesharing grew just 22%. Holt also debuted a new swappable battery for JUMPs dockless electric bikes. JUMP added swappable batteries to its bikes late last year, but now riders will be able to replace them. Designed by Uber Director of Engineering for Energy Storage Systems Celina Mikolajczak and her team , the swappable batteries are much safer than the ones that have been in the scooters and bikes weve seen, she told TechCrunch. Its a growing industry, Mikolajczak told TechCrunch. And the regulations, the standards have not caught up. Where in an automotive space, you would have propagation resistance in your battery pack built in and designed in, those requirements have really not moved into the bike and scooter area. But one of the things that were doing, as the battery team is, were bringing those requirements into that area, so that when we come out with our new swappable battery, its going to be at a new level of safety and a much higher level of safety than anything thats been in the scooter and bike fleet till now, which is exciting. And, you know, one of the things that we can bring thats unique and different compared to you know, whats out there. Before, while JUMP was able to swap out the batteries back at the warehouse, Mikolajczak said they werent truly swappable. The current batteries that are on the scooters and bikes are really not designed to be swappable, she said. With the JUMP bike, you can swap the battery but its something the operator has to do. Theres some fussy connections in there. What were doing for the new battery packs is to make them user-swappable so that anyone can swap this battery pack really quickly and easily. Thats something that just hasnt been done. Uber Head of New Mobility Rachel Holt shows what the charging stations could look likeThis could mean kiosks around the city where you swap the battery out for a new one and then bike farther. Or, you park the bike near a battery kiosk and the next person swaps in a new battery before they ride off. So that becomes a lot more self-serve, she said. If theyre user-swappable, they swap a lot faster than if you send people out to do it. Were exploring a few different options on that.