Lime, best known for bicycle and scooter rentals, wants to try its hand at the car-share business. The company will launch a fleet of Fiat 500 models across Seattle in a bid to expand its business.
The company announced the car-share service will begin this week with the Fiat 500s spread out across the city. Lime users will see the cars marked as icons on the company's smartphone app. They won't be difficult to miss since Lime has branded and painted them white with various shades of lime green.
Lime has operated bike sharing in Seattle for just over a year, and recently tried to launch a scooter sharing service in the city. Local officials blocked the launch for the scooter business, but did so for every company—not just Lime. Pete Dempster, the program manager of LimePod, said most customers take trips that are just three miles long, which provides ample opportunity for the company. The service won't break the bank, either. A Lime car will cost $1 to unlock and 40 cents per mile driven.
Customers can unlock the cars via the smartphone app; no key is necessary.
Lime even covers paid parking for those who rent out one of its 500s. The company inked a deal with the city to cover up to $1,730 per car, per year. Lime plans to launch about 500 cars in Seattle.
The company isn't alone in recognizing different needs in urban environments. General Motors launched its Maven mobility service that also rents out vehicle via a car-share service. It has since expanded to include long-term rentals for freelance workers and peer-to-peer car sharing.