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Photo: Superpedestrian

Superpedestrian, a Boston-based startup best known for its Copenhagen Wheel, a system that turns a regular bike into an electric one, now wants to sell a commercial-grade electric scooter to fleet operators.

The bigger picture: When scooters suddenly took over U.S. streets earlier this year, setting up a scooter rental company looked easy, thanks to manufacturers like Segway-Ninebot. But that’s not so much the case any more given the growing number of problems with the vehicles, including faulty scooters that were recalled, designs that couldn't sustain commercial use, and supply shortages.

Access to a large supply of scooters is becoming a real advantage for companies, and some are coming up with creative business models, such as franchising them.

  • Last week, Bird announced it’s rolling out a program through which small entrepreneurs or existing businesses can rent out a number of its scooters, label them with their own brands, uses a network of contract charging and repair workers, and keep 80% of the revenues.
  • Austin-based startup GOAT has a similar business model.

For its part, Superpedestrian says its vehicles can help scooter rental companies save money because they’re designed for heavy use that can sustain daily customers.

  • The company also touts its scooter’s ability to wirelessly self-diagnose and remedy a number of mechanical problems, such as resets needed for sensors, voltage or temperature, which constitute over half of common scooter repair needs.
  • Superpedestrian’s scooter costs about $500 (similar to what Bird and Lime spend per scooter), though the company won’t provide a specific price, and says each scooter can last between nine and 18 months. It says it already has scooter rental companies as customers but declined to name them.
  • Yes, but: As one scooter industry insider tells Axios, if Superpedestrian’s scooters do prove to be superior to other manufacturers, its customers are likely to want exclusive rights to the vehicle supply — a tricky situation for a company whose business model is to sell scooters to as many customers as possible.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton hospitalized for non-COVID-related infection

Former President Bill Clinton. Photo: Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday for a non-COVID-related infection, his spokesperson Angel Ureña said Thursday.

The latest: In an update on Friday, Ureña said Clinton's health indicators are "trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly."

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