According to a Razor Ecosmart Metro electric scooter review, charging them is the latest entry in a metastasizing gigantic economy like ours. While this gig can definitely earn you a pretty penny, the time and effort required really demands that you inform yourself quite well before trying out as a ‘charger’.
What’s the Deal with Them?
Electric scooters are the newest and most fashionable way to get around in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. While they’re not yet legal in the Big Apple, they’re all the rage out west and if you go there make sure to take one out for a spin.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding them at the moment because some people are extremely satisfied with them due to their ride-sharing capabilities developed by companies such as Bird and Lime while others are disturbed by their constant presence on the sidewalks. Raise your hand if you’ve even had an electric scooter run into you!
However, where there’s chaos, there’s also opportunity so, naturally, some enthusiastic freelancers have identified a new way in which one can earn some extra money: charging electric scooters. While it may seem complicated, it’s a great side hustle if you’re up for it and as long as you’re capable enough to charge your phone, you’ll be able to charge scooters too.
How Charging Works
Scooter-sharing companies have capitalized on the big popularity of electric scooters and made somewhat of a name for themselves both in the USA and around the world. Since the machines are still quite expensive for the average consumer, building a platform where they can be used and then dropped off for the next customer seemed like the sensible thing to do.
However, they are still electric vehicles and as such need to be frequently charged to work. Scooter-sharing companies have managed to come up with a very crafty solution and rely on somewhat of an army of ‘independent contractors’ that are able to pick the scooters up, charge them overnight, then release them the next morning before 7 a.m.
The gig is really not all that complicated, especially for somebody who has been living around computers and cellphones all their life, as the process is really similar to the one we go through every day to charge our phones.
How to Sign Up
Like any job, you have to sign up to get it and the way to do it is through the app you would use as a consumer. In Bird’s case, the people are called ‘Bird chargers’ while Lime names their own contractors ‘Lime juicers’.
For starters, you obviously have to live in a city where electric scooter sharing is legal to be able to do this. If you fulfill this critical condition, then you’re in luck as the rest of the process is quite simple.
Using the same app you would need to rent a scooter you will provide your personal information and also your bank account information so you can receive payments after you’ve done the work. Allowing the company to access your bank data lets them send direct deposits into your account, without going through any other procedures.
The one caveat here is that if you live in a city where this business is very popular and all the slots are taken, you may not be instantly approved and you will instead be placed on a waiting list until one of them frees up.
What Happens Then
Once everything is okay and you have successfully signed up, the company, whichever one may be, will send you three sets of charging supplies with instructions that will also include a wall plug and power brick.
When you start out, three will be your limit but you have the possibility to extend that amount provided you turn out to be a trustworthy ‘Charger’ or ‘Juicer’. It’s obvious that the more supplies you have, the more scooters you can charge and the better your income will be.
If you establish yourself as a consistent and reliable charger, the company will give you the option to ask for more work and will gladly help you do it. If you’re not looking to charge 100 electric scooters per night, though, three is a good place to start.
Finding Electric Scooters
The first thing you need to remember is that this side-gig will entail a lot of going out at night, especially after 9 p.m. as that’s when both Bird and Lime release most of the scooters on their maps.
You will use the map on the app to locate scooters near you and figure out if you are able to pick them up. Usually, they are valued up to $5 but if you have the luck of finding a scooter which has been missing for days then the company will pay a pretty penny for your collector services.
Then you simply get in your car and drive toward the scooter in the hopes of finding it first, which isn’t always easy at nighttime since most of them are black and not always parked in obvious spots.
You’ll be surprised to see how much of a treasure hunt-like feeling this can give you, especially since you will be competing with other people to get to the spot first. Don’t be surprised if you’ll have people run to get in front of you and reach the ‘prey’.
Capturing the Scooters
Once you’ve found it, the obvious step would be to load it up in your car, right? Wrong! To capture the scooter, you first need to let the company know that you’ve got it and the way to do that is by scanning the QR code located on the handlebar with your phone.
Afterward, you can safely load the 30-pound apparatus into your car, something which you will notice to become increasingly more difficult as you gather more and more. How many scooters you can fit depends on the amount of charging supplies you have and, to be honest, how much you like your car.
If you’re okay with having scooters sticking out the window or scraping up your upholstery, you’ll find that you can fit a surprising amount of scooters in your regular-sized car. If you own an SUV, you’ll quite possibly be able to pick up about 12 in a single session.
Get Them Home
After investing time and effort to get somebody to come home with you, you’d expect to relax for the rest of the evening. Well, that’s not the case with electric scooters because this is where your actual job description comes into place.
You now have to unload the vehicles and charge them so that they will be bright-eyed and bushy-scootered in the morning. Some people who do this professionally even have effective setups in their garage or basement which helps them do the job faster and easier.
For instance, you can have chargers plugged into your garage wall and extending all the way to your car’s trunk so you won’t even have to unload the Birds or the Limes in order to fill them up with power.
While there are some companies that try to build charge centers in high-density scooter markets, most of the people still do their charging at home. Therefore, keep in mind that you will have to pay for the electricity so it really doesn’t hurt to pay attention to your bill at the end of the month.
Furthermore, the gig will also require some miles on your car and paying for gas to get around and pick up scooters and this is the reason why it is so important to take everything into account before signing up for this.
When it comes to actual time, the electric scooters will take anywhere from four to six hours to completely charge but if you have more charging supplies you can switch them out in the middle of the night.
However, doing that means risking the first batch of scooters losing some battery and the company penalizing you if you drop them off after 7 a.m. or with less than 95% battery. Therefore, many people prefer to let them juice up overnight and be on the safe side when it comes to payments.
The Next Morning
In the morning you are required to drop the kids off to the designated release spots called ‘nests’. The companies took note of what was happening and now allow chargers to reserve the place for 30 minutes instead of having them go through an entire ‘harvesting’ process to find one.
As we said, you have to get them there before 7 a.m. and with close to 100% battery to get full payment for your efforts. Bird also asks that you release the scooters in sets of three and you’ll be paid the full quoted price for each one.