Lime wants to add cars to its Seattle mobility fleet, expanding beyond the bright green, rentable bikes the company currently operates in the city.
The Bay Area mobility startup applied for a car sharing permit in Seattle a few weeks ago, the Seattle Department of Transportation confirmed Monday. Lime did not comment specifically on its Seattle plans but did say “the company is officially making a move into car sharing.”
“You can expect electric vehicles to be an additional micro-mobility option for Lime riders to choose from within the Lime app soon,” a spokesperson for the company said.
In June, Axios reported that Lime is pursuing a new branch of its business that would allow travelers to rent compact electric cars for $1 to start, plus 40 cents a minute.
The tiny, two-seat cars would add another mode of transportation to Lime’s fleet, which includes regular and electric bikes and electric scooters in many cities. Lime bikes have been operating in Seattle since the city first piloted dockless bike-share more than a year ago. The company was the first to apply for a permanent bike-share permit in Seattle when the city finalized its rules over the summer.
But Seattle forbids rentable electric scooters, a key component of Lime’s business. Car sharing would provide another legal avenue for Lime to expand its offerings in Seattle. It would also bring Lime more directly into competition with Seattle’s existing car sharing services, ReachNow and Car2Go.
The Puget Sound Business Journal first reported on Lime’s car-sharing plans in Seattle.