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Opinion
Chris Bryant

Is the Electric Scooter Apocalypse Finally Upon Us?

Smaller companies may lose the battle to break even but fewer players would create a healthier industry

E-Scooter
Photographer: picture alliance/picture alliance

Covid lockdowns didn’t short-circuit the electric-scooter boom. But the end of the free-money era is sure to winnow the field. With investors flinching from unprofitable business models, scooter-sharing firms are cutting jobs, slowing expansion and exiting underperforming markets.

With industry participants warning of a “shakeout,” Bird Global Inc. — its shares down 97% from their peak — replaced its chief executive and chief financial officer in September and on Monday warned on its ability to remain a going concern and of a need to restate its financial accounts for the past two and a half years due to improperly recognized revenue. The chances of other scooter companies going public soon, as some had planned, look slim.