If you live in or near a big city, you’ve likely witnessed the sudden growth of scooter-sharing companies. Several startups, such as Bird, Lime, and Spin, were created to help people get around inexpensively, quickly, and conveniently.
One of the major selling points of these scooters is that riders can simply leave them anywhere once they reach their destination, instead of needing to bring them to a charging dock or designated station. As a result, scooter sharing businesses rely on independent workers to collect and re-charge the devices overnight, which can be a decent side hustle if you want to make some extra cash.
The general guidelines for collecting and charging scooters is pretty simple. Here are the steps:
- download the scooter app to locate scooters around your city
- collect the scooters
- charge them
- place them back in an approved location to be used again.
Bird and Lime both pay at minimum $3 for each scooter you charge and reset, but the payment can increase if you can get each scooter charged and back out on the street as quickly as possible. For instance, Bird can pay up to $20 if the scooter becomes available soon after it’s been recharged.
Before you can get started, you’ll need to fill out a quick form with your personal information. You will be asked for your name, zip code, contact information, and a few other standard details. It should only take a few minutes to complete an application, but you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a vehicle (the larger, the better).
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Own a smartphone to download the app.
If your application is approved, you’ll receive confirmation from the company via an email or phone call. As soon as you get approval, you can start charging scooters that same day. In most cases, scooters become available to chargers around 9 PM, since this is usually the least popular time for riders. Once the time is right, simply fire up the app and begin the hunt!
Each company’s app has the option to switch from a rider to a “charger” once the clock strikes 9 PM. At this point, the app will show you where scooters in need of charging are located around the city using GPS. Additional information will also appear, such as how much money you could earn by collecting it, how low the battery percentage is, and when the scooter was last used. Once someone collects the scooter, it disappears from the map.
To start charging scooters, all you need to do is unlock the scooter using the app, load it into your car, and drive it home to charge it. Most electric scooters use the same type of charger, so you can collect multiple types of scooters without needing to buy a different charger for each one. Once the battery reaches 100%, you’ll have to bring the scooters back out into the city for riders to use again in the morning. Some companies, like Bird, will tell you exactly when and where to drop off their scooters each morning, whereas others are more lenient with their return policies.
Anyone can easily make a few extra bucks if they charge a couple scooters per week. However, if you want to earn over $100 a night, here are some tips for success:
- Be consistent. Try to stick to a schedule when you begin charging scooters. Some companies will give you additional chargers if you prove yourself to be consistent and reliable. Of course, you can always order extra scooter chargers from Amazon or other retailers.
- Collect as many as you can. If you have a larger vehicle, like a truck or van, you’ll be golden! Venture out to begin collecting scooters as soon as the app tells you it’s OK in order to beat out the other “hunters.” Since the scooters only take 4-5 hours to reach a full charge, you can charge two scooters per charger. For example, if you have 5 chargers, you could completely charge 10 scooters if you’re willing to wake up in the middle of the night to swap the cables.
- Strategize. Keep on eye on the map throughout the day to figure out the shortest path to get the most scooters. If you sign up to be a charger with a few different companies, be sure you check all of the maps before you venture out to collect. A bit of planning can make this job a breeze.
The US has numerous scooter companies, and many cities have competing brands in the same vicinity. If your city has scooter brands, you can optimize your earning rate by becoming a charger for a few different companies.
If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the following web pages to find the best earning opportunities in your location:
If you want to do this work internationally, there are dozens of localized scooter companies that operate in cities around the world, such as eCooltra in cities like Madrid and Barcelona, emmy in Berlin and Vienna, and felyx in the Netherlands.
Good luck on your re-charge side hustle!