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Bird’s new electric scooter is a durable two-wheeler that you can rent or own

Bird

Bird, one of the top players in the rentable escooter space, now wants you to buy one.

The Santa Monica, California-based company has just unveiled the Bird One, an electric scooter that it says is the culmination of “tens of millions of rides, cutting edge product design and engineering, safety certifications, and rigorous road tests.”

With its steel-reinforced aluminum frame, Bird also claims it’s one of the most durable escooters on the market today — important for a vehicle that’s certain to take a bashing when it hits the streets in the coming months in more than 100 cities globally as part of its scootersharing service.

The Bird One can run for 30 miles on a single charge — twice the distance of the Bird Zero that it’s replacing — and incorporates better resistance to rain, dust, and other challenges thrown up by bad weather. Ite can reach speeds of up to 19 mph, transport a weight of up to 220 pounds, and comes with anti-theft features that include a GPS tracker and a smartphone-controlled digital lock.

Safety-conscious riders will be reassured to know that the two-wheeler has received a slew of relevant certifications, so hopefully it’ll be free from the kind of issues that have caused problems for providers of similar schemes in recent months.

But here’s the interesting bit. The company isn’t merely incorporating the Bird One into its app-based rental service. It’s also selling it.  That’s right, the Bird One comes in three colors — jet black, dove white, and electric rose — and can be yours for $1,300.

It may puzzle some as to why a company that wants you to rent its scooters is now offering one for purchase, but Bird is evidently keen to explore the idea as a potential revenue stream. With so many places still without scootersharing services, and recent data suggesting a growing market for at least the next 10 years, it certainly looks as if there’s money to be made. The Bird One’s hefty price tag may, however, prompt some interested buyers to take a close look at the alternatives before making a final decision.

Travis VanderZanden, founder and CEO of Bird, said in a release that the company will offer a “limited supply” of Bird One escooters for ownership, adding, “Now, whether you want to share, rent, or own, Bird provides an option for everyone.”

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