Bird’s electric scooters are getting more rugged to handle heavy use

A year ago, dockless electric scooters first appeared on the streets San Francisco and Santa Monica. The initial reaction was bewilderment, eventually giving over to annoyance and dismissal. The companies that were scattering these scooters everywhere, like Bird and Lime, seemed to epitomize tech-bro arrogance. Surely the fad would fade and the scooters would be shipped back overseas from whence they came, destined for some landfill in China.

Twelve months later, the scooters are in over 100 cities across the globe, and by most accounts, immensely popular. Bird and Lime have each reported over 10 million rides since their launch. Lime is valued at $1 billion; Bird at $2 billion. Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are now getting in on…

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