Lime already has its shared bicycle and scooter fleets in cities around the country, but it’s not stopping there: starting this week, the company is rolling out a fleet of shared Lime cars in Seattle as part of its new “LimePod” service, with a goal of having 1,500 cars in the city by early next year, via Bloomberg.
Lime is starting off a little smaller, at least at the beginning, with just 50 cars hitting the streets of Seattle this week. However, the company is planning to continue to expand things weekly, aiming toward having 500 cars available by the end of the year. Similar to the scooters and bikes, LimePod users will be able to pay $1 to unlock a car, and then 40 cents per minute of use on top of that for driving around. For the initial pilot in Seattle, Lime will be using four-seated, Lime branded Fiats (2018 Fiat 500).
Seattle offers permits to car-sharing services that allow users to park at metered spots without paying, making it a good place to start a service like this. That said, Lime will have some competition waiting for it when it does launch — both Car2Go and ReachNow are two similar car-sharing services already operating in Seattle, each with about 700 vehicles in the city. As of March, the two businesses announced an intent to merge, although that deal has yet to be approved by regulators.
Seattle may just be the start of LimePod’s ambitions, though — Toby Sun, Lime’s CEO, commented to Bloomberg that the company is already in talks with a city in California to bring LimePod there, too, with the company confirming to The Verge that it has plans to expand to more markets throughout 2019.
Update November 13, 2:35pm: Added additional details from Lime regarding LimePods.
Correction: LimePods will cost 40 cents per minute of use, not 40 center per mile.