Lime reveals newer, safer, smarter generation of e-scooters

ACC says thousands of people have been injured by e-scooters since October last year.

But e-scooter brand Lime is trying to be a part of the solution. It's come up with a new and improved e-scooter that it's keen to introduce to New Zealand roads. However, it may be some time before you can give it a go.

The new Gen 3 is bigger, chunkier - and supposed to be safer.

"This is absolutely the ultimate e-scooter, we're so excited to bring it into New Zealand," says Lime New Zealand public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox.

"It's the latest, the best, the most safest and the most comfortable."

It features larger 10-inch diameter wheels, mountain bike suspension and the addition of a back brake. 

And it's smarter, too. Mentjox says the Gen 3 systems are more intelligent, providing real-time updates on battery status and prompting positive riding behaviour such as when a rider has entered a non-parking zone or has parked the scooter improperly.

But they won't come in immediately. As each of the current generations of Lime scooters reaches the end of their service life, they'll be replaced by the newer model of e-scooters.

Lime's new e-scooters are already in Berlin and across the United States.

"We don't know when they are going to launch in New Zealand at this stage," Mentjox says.

"We are bringing them to Rotorua to the Infrastructure New Zealand building nations symposium where 800 delegates will have a look at how they ride."

With improved suspension, more power for uphill journeys and the battery moved to the base, Lime NZ says this scooter is safer than ever.

Auckland Council says they haven't yet seen a proposal from Lime, but they're keen on any safety improvements.

"We welcome any improvements to e-scooters which ensures that they are safer for the public. This is also reflected in changes to the code of practice after the first trial," says Auckland Council e-scooter project manager Mervyn Chetty.

The latest figures from ACC indicate at least 2500 people have been injured by an e-scooter since October last year. Injuries include puncture wounds, lacerations, fractures, dislocations and dental injuries.

With an improved suspension system and new tech on board, the hope is that the new Limes will help avoid more painful accidents.