Electric cars and hybrids have gained massive popularity for long commutes and crowded freeways. However, the evidence shows that most cars are actually used for very short distances—less than a few miles.
Thankfully, a new ride is on the rise. Electric scooters and bikes, part of the rise of the micromobility movement, only emit 1-2% of what a car does. With an estimated market growth of $500 billion by 2030 according to McKinsey, micromobility is taking the market by storm.
First deployed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in January 2017, you can now find Lime’s green-colored electric scooters in more than 120 cities spanning 30+ countries. As one of the micromobility market leaders, Lime has already surpassed 100 million rides.
Lime’s ambitious goal of becoming a global brand would have required contracts with numerous Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for wireless connectivity—at least one in each of the 30 countries they wanted to expand into.
That arrangement would have complicated operator management, with different monthly bills to pay and multiple customer care numbers to call for resolving connectivity issues.
To make matters worse, Lime faced the prospect of building their own console for managing connectivity and manufacturing lines for different SIMs SKUs. This would have made their operations incredibly complicated and expensive, significantly hindering their growth. Thankfully, a better solution was available.
Lime selected Twilio as its global connectivity provider, eliminating the complex and cumbersome solution described above. Leveraging just one SIM and one billing relationship, Lime benefited from instant global reach with top tier networks across all of its 30 countries.
“Twilio’s global connectivity platform enabled us to scale to 100M rides across 30 countries within 2 years. Eliminating the need to negotiate with and manage multiple operators across the world has been an incredible source of scale,” said Dr. Mu Qiao, tech lead manager at Lime.
Twilio’s global connectivity platform enabled us to scale to 100M rides across 30 countries within two years. Eliminating the need to negotiate with and manage multiple operators across the world has been an incredible source of scale.
Beyond connectivity, Twilio helped Lime speed up its supply chain process with easy, pay-as-you-go pricing and online SIM ordering of as many SIMs as they need to fuel their growth. As Qiao explained, “Twilio gives us an ability to remotely troubleshoot connectivity issues before the scooters reach their destination city. Twilio’s API-based automation has reduced our manufacturing complexity.”
To ensure a positive rider experience at scale, Lime also needed full visibility and control over their vehicles throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle. With Twilio IoT, Lime views and manages its entire global fleet of hundreds of thousands of scooters within one console.
“Twilio’s platform allows us to view and control our entire global vehicle fleet,” said Qiao. “We use Twilio’s APIs to automate parts of our supply chain like SIM activation, suspension, and theft detection.”
Having total control over scooter status led them to activating hundreds of scooters around the world daily.
“Using one Twilio SIM across all 30 countries we entered not only standardizes our manufacturing process, but also enables us to roll out hundreds of scooters daily. That’s a huge value-add beyond connectivity,” Qiao said.