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Electric scooter-sharing service debuts in Hangzhou

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    15:48, March 16, 2017

Electric scooter sharing, a new mode of shared transport, recently appeared in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province. According to the Hangzhou-based service provider, Innomake, the scooters are only available in enclosed areas such as industrial parks, residential communities and school campuses, as riding the scooters on roads is a violation of traffic laws.

An employee of Innomake confirmed to Beijing Youth Daily that the electric scooters were provided for pilot operation in an industrial park beginning March 12. Currently, more than a dozen of the vehicles are available. The price for renting a scooter is 5 jiao ($0.07) for half an hour, but the company said the rental price will vary according to vehicle model and operational scenario.

The potential for users to run afoul of the law has been a major concern, since electric scooters are not permitted to be ridden on roads in most Chinese cities. In addition to limiting its service to enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, Innomake has also sought to tackle that problem through the installation of GPS devices, which will help to dissuade users from riding the vehicles on municipal roads.

According to Innomake, the batteries in the scooters result in high operation costs. For the time being, the batteries are mostly being replaced by the company's in-house maintenance staff, but smarter charging methods will be offered in the future as the company expands.

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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