Singapore personal mobility startup Beam has kicked off its e-scooter service in Kuala Lumpur with about 200 vehicles.
Beam corporate affairs vice president Christopher Hilton says the e-scooters will be available at various designated parking areas in Bukit Bintang, Lot 10 mall and Mont Kiara township.
He says the areas were selected because of high foot traffic, wide walking paths, and distance to public transport.
"Users won't need to park the e-scooters anywhere specific, as we believe the most natural way is for people to stop the ride where they choose," he said at the launch.
However, the company is hoping to offer more parking spaces by working with businesses and shop owners that would prefer more traffic. For parking responsibly, the user will be given a discount on the next ride, he said.
To use the e-scooters, customers will have to download the app, turn on Bluetooth and mobile data, and enter their credit/debit card details. Customers also get general liability and personal insurance while using the service.
The rides start at RM2.50 and cost an additional 30 sen for each extra minute. The e-scooter speed is capped at 20kph and helmets are not mandatory though the company encourages its customers to use one. It's also looking at providing a helmet with the vehicle.
Hilton says the vehicles are tracked using the rider's smartphone and an IoT (Internet of Things) device on the e-scooter.
A geofence is in place to make sure riders don't park the e-shooter beyond the designated area – those who do will be charged an RM5 “pick up” fee.
The e-shooters can travel a distance of 45km to 50km or about four to five trips before needing a recharge. Hilton claims that the vehicles are checked regularly by marshals for safety and will be brought in for maintenance after every 300 rides.
He says that the e-scooters were “quietly” introduced a few months ago and so far the service has clocked over 15,000 rides, and the app has been downloaded 10,000 times.
The company is also in talks with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to expand its operation area and for additional parking spaces. It’s also approaching law enforcement bodies to deal with e-scooter thefts.