Lincoln Electric has been in talks with automakers to develop a fleet of electric scotteries that would offer customers the option of renting electric cars or taking them for rides.
The company says its scooters will offer “a variety of benefits” to the public and will also have the added benefit of reducing CO2 emissions.
Lincoln Electric Chief Executive Dan Wertheimer says his company is also exploring how it could create a network of electric parking spots.
The plan could be the most ambitious move by an electric car company in the U.S. in years, said David A. Siegel, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan.
The idea, he said, “seems to be pretty appealing” given that “the industry has been very slow to embrace electric mobility.”
Wertheimer said Lincoln would use an existing fleet of about 600 vehicles, including its own Econoline, to test the vehicles and test the technology.
He declined to say how many electric scoops it had planned for the U., but he said that Lincoln would start with a small number of models that would be available for rent.
“The plan will be to have a limited number of these scooters available to rent, but then we’ll continue to explore how we can do something different,” he said.
“We’ll have a very broad variety of options for the public to choose from.”
Siegel said the company has been exploring the idea of building a network, including testing a fleet in the area around Lincoln Park.
He said he expects the electric scooping to be more extensive than that.
“We’ll probably have more than 500 scooters at the park,” he predicted.
“There’ll probably be a whole lot more of them.”
Werthheimer said he doesn’t expect to have any specific pricing for electric scooters at launch, but said Lincoln will begin testing the scooters for rent with an initial price point of $1,000 a day.
He wouldn’t say how much rent will cost, but Siegel said he believes it will be lower than some other large car companies.
Livermore, California-based Lincoln has been testing its electric scopes in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a demonstration that was filmed by the San Jose Mercury News last month.
The company is in the process of buying a test fleet of more than 10,000 scooters.
A new electric scoped model will be unveiled next month.
A test scooter in the works for the next few months.
Lincoln says it will begin selling the scoped vehicle at a discounted price in January 2019.