Most people are familiar with rental scooters you see on the street, but many people are buying their own personal scooters. One scooter repairman in Charlotte tells Fox Business that he’s been very busy.
"The popularity of micro-mobility is just surging right now," said Nicholas Corben-Smith, the owner Queen City Scooters in Uptown Charlotte.
Corben-Smith says the scooter market was already booming — but gas prices are causing even greater growth. And he says that means big business for his shop, selling new scooters and repairing old ones.
"If I were to put a number to it, I would say that it’s increased tenfold," he said.
The majority of Corbin-Smith’s business comes from repairs. He says most people buy their scooters online.
"It’s free shipping and free returns, so it’s pretty convenient," said Charlotte resident Dylan Siebert, who bought a scooter about eight months ago.
Siebert bought his scooter not because of gas costs, but because of parking pricing at his job in Uptown.
"We pay $120 per month," he said.
He bought a $360 dollar scooter. Without the parking fees, he says it paid for itself in three months.
Scooter company Bird is best known for rentals, but it also sells renewed scooters online. The company says national sales have increased 60%, and website traffic was up 30% in the weeks right after the initial spike in gas prices.
A Bird spokesperson says the company is offering incentives, like vouchers worth up to $7,500, to trade in your old car in exchange for a new e-bike.
Scooter company Spin, says it has recently seen a boost in rentals.
"We have noticed an increase in our ride numbers in the past month, which we believe is the result of a mix of factors, such as improving weather, workers returning to the office, and, quite likely, the higher cost of gasoline," a spokesperson for Spin said.
Lime, another big player in the e-scooter market, says rentals were already spiking before gas prices jumped. The company said it saw a 66.5% increase in the number of rides this February compared to last February.
"You can maneuver through the whole city without having to wait for the bus, the light rail," said Jairo Vargas, who also owns a scooter in Charlotte.
Vargas got his scooter about three months ago. He says between gas, parking and public transit costs, he’s saving a pretty penny.
"I would say like around $150 a month," he said.
Why not buy a bike you might ask?
In Vargas's case, the last thing he wants to do is a hot, sweaty bike ride before and after a workday. That’s where the scooter comes in handy.