The e-scooter industry is proving itself more volatile than a springtime afternoon in Atlanta.
Just a week after California-based Bird unveiled the concept of monthly, flat-rate e-scooter rentals in markets that could include Atlanta, the micromobility company announced today it’s upgrading its shared fleet to a line of vehicles called Bird One.
They’ll also be for sale—a first for the shared e-scooter industry—in limited quantities. For $1,299, plus delivery fees and taxes.
Buyers can preorder Bird One options in three colors—Electric Rose, Dove White, and Jet Black—and expect delivery sometime this summer, officials said.
The new model’s rollout in cities where Bird operates begins today in Los Angeles, followed by cities across North America.
As Bird explains it, the new models sound like sleeker, stronger, commercial-grade falcons to their previous e-scooter pigeons.
Bird One battery charges are said to last twice as long, with ranges of up to 30 miles per charge and faster takeoffs. Built with steel-reinforced aluminum frames, the vehicles’ commercial lifespan is expected to be four times that of predecessors, officials said in a release.
Each comes with a digital lock and GPS-tracking capabilities that could help locate thieved vehicles—with the assistance of a trained team called the Bird Hunter Network.
A year ago, Bird led Atlanta’s e-scooter craze by suddenly dropping vehicles from Midtown to West End, initially.
Varieties from Lime, Uber, Lyft, and now a yellow newcomer called Bolt have followed—along with criticism from pedestrians, business owners, and city officials as e-scooters became notorious for littering sidewalks and other public areas.
Still, a strong majority of more than 1,000 voters (67 percent) believe that e-scooter options are beneficial to Atlanta, by and large, according to a recent in-house poll that coincided with the one-year anniversary of Bird’s local introduction.
Whether Atlantans will cough up almost $1,300 for their own personal Bird remains to be seen.