How can you get to be a Lime scooter charger/juicer? What does it take, and how much can you make?
Lime scooter charger/juicers service dockless electric scooters that are shared by riders in cities all over the world. We’ve all seen them around, but you might be amazed when you find out just how popular e-scooters have become.
According to an August 2020 article in Bloomberg CityLab, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) reported that scooter ridership increased from 38.5 million in 2018 to 88.5 million in 2019 – a growth rate of 130%.
Scooters have already surpassed bikes when it comes to their share of the micromobility market. This graph, extracted from the same article, shows the pre-pandemic growth patterns the figures from NACTO describe:
The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on growth throughout 2020, but like all mobility businesses, including rideshare and delivery, micromobility driven by e-scooters is bouncing back. Lime is a leading provider of e-scooters, operating in 120 cities across 28 countries.
With the popularity of micromobility in full swing again, there’s a ripe opportunity to add another flexible gig to your income stream, and it’s right here for the picking.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what Lime, the e-scooter company, is all about, and specifically what it’s like working as a Lime charger/juicer. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is Lime?
- How does “juicing” work?
- How to harvest and serve for Lime
- How much do Lime juicers make?
- What are the requirements to be a Lime charger?
- How to sign up for Lime
- How do I contact Lime support?
- Lime vs. Bird
- Make Lime juicing your next side gig
What is Lime?
Lime is one of the hottest scooter startups transforming the micromobility industry. Just like its competitor, Bird, Lime provides motorized scooters that users can rent via a smartphone app.
The process is simple: When customers want a ride, they access the Lime app, find out the location of the nearest scooter, and electronically unlock the scooter. Then, they’re off … at approximately 15 miles per hour! The scooters cost $1 to unlock and then 15 cents per minute after the initial charge.
Going only 15 miles per hour isn’t much of a problem in most big cities. As traffic comes back to its pre-COVID volumes, more and more cities are opting to give Lime’s eco-friendly, convenient, and socially distanced means of transport a try. Here’s a list of U.S. and international cities where Lime operates.
New York recently ended its ban on e-scooters and is instituting a trial with Lime. Scooters will begin rolling around the Bronx sometime during summer 2021.
Now that you know something about Lime, let’s look at the job of being a juicer.
How does “juicing” work?
Because Lime scooters are electric, they need to be charged regularly – and that’s where you come in. Lime employs contract scooter chargers, whom they call “juicers”, to pick scooters up off the streets and charge them every night after 9:00 p.m.
As a Lime juicer, you will gain access to their Lime juicer map where you can view scooters in real time that are ready to charge, as well as how much Lime will pay you for each charge. Since the scooters are always picked up at night and charged at your home, you can essentially make money while you sleep.
Keep in mind that Lime recruits heavily in cities where it needs contractors to charge scooters. You’ll want to apply as early as possible when Lime comes to your city. That way, you have a stronger chance of getting approved, and you’ll earn more money because there will be less competition.
How to harvest and serve for Lime
There are two steps to charging scooters for Lime: harvesting and serving. “Harvesting” means picking up a scooter from the street that is ready to be charged, juicing it up, and then dropping the scooter off in a designated spot by the time given in the app.
The harvest process looks like this: Find the scooter you’re looking for, scan its QR code, place it in your vehicle, and either take it back to your charging station or continue collecting more scooters.
“Serving” refers to the final step you need to take before completing the charging task. Lime has a list of standards they call “BLT,” which stands for battery, location, and timing. These standards are described as:
- Battery: Scooters must have at least a 95% battery when served in order to receive the full payout.
- Location: In the app, you will be able to see where scooters are, reserve them, and navigate to the locations of scooters in need of some juice.
- Timing: The app specifies the time by which each scooter needs to be served. Again, you’ll find out from the app by what time each scooter you’ve picked up needs to be dropped off.
Once all the scooters you’ve picked up at night are dropped off (the next morning) at their specified location, Lime will credit your account for your juicing job.
How much do Lime juicers make?
When you check the app for scooters that need to be harvested, you’ll be able to see how much each scooter will earn you. Lime juicers report an average of about $8 per scooter, with $5 to $12 per scooter as a reasonable range.
You can probably expect to make around $20 to $30 per hour. For comparison, this Gridwise blog post shows you rideshare driver earnings, and this Gridwise blog post tells about average earnings for food delivery drivers. Check both out and you’ll see that the hourly rate for juicing compares favorably.
The only drawback is, your hours as a juicer are limited. You need to do your work at the end of the day and in the morning. You can still pull in a nice chunk of change, though, and your effort will be minimal if you develop a plan and stick to it.
Here’s an inside tip from masters of the juicing game: To make the most money for the least amount of effort, collect multiple scooters that are relatively close together, rather than going out of your way for more profitable scooters that might be harder to retrieve.
What are the requirements to be a Lime charger?
Lime has a few requirements that are pretty cut and dried, and make sense for the job. You must:
- Be 18 years old
- Have a vehicle (preferably on the large side)
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a helmet for scooter driving
- Have a smartphone to use the app
You can usually be approved to juice for Lime rather quickly. There’s no background check, so you won’t have to wait for that to come through before you can get to work.
How to sign up for Lime
If you meet Lime’s requirements, you can sign up to be a juicer online by visiting this page. Depending on the competition in your city amongst other chargers, you might have to wait for a while for a response back.
Then, you’ll be asked to complete a “How to Juice” course and sign a W-9 form and a standard agreement. Once your application is approved and you’ve completed those tasks, you will receive instructions on how to purchase your chargers. Then, you can order up to four of the chargers (listed at $19 each) from Lime’s online store. Once you receive your chargers, you’re all set to begin juicing.
Note: you can also start out by simply harvesting scooters for juicing. While this won’t pay as much, it’s a good way to get started, see if you like the gig, and then make the investment in chargers if you’re interested in continuing.
How do I contact Lime support?
Lime provides a Help Center for juicers as well as the ability to submit a request via the website. In the Help Center, you can view the pay portal, see your payout summary, and learn more information about harvesting, serving, retrieving, and more.
Lime vs. Bird
Why would you choose to juice for Lime rather than Bird? Let’s go through a few quick facts, and you’ll see.
Both Lime and Bird have similar payment models, in which they pay you a base rate of $3 to $5 for charging and dropping off each scooter.
But, pay per scooter varies based on when the scooter becomes available for a charge and how long it’s been since its last charge. Bird has a range of $3 to $20 per scooter, whereas Lime usually starts out with a base rate of $5 to $12 per scooter.
An upside of charging for Bird is that you’ll be paid at a reduced rate if you release a scooter that isn’t at 100% charge. Lime withholds payment for not meeting charge standards, and may even revoke your juicer status at times. That’s because Lime wants to give the best possible service to its customers by making sure its scooters are charged at at least 95%.
When choosing whether to charge for Lime or Bird, it really comes down to convenience for you and figuring out which hubs you’re closest to. If Lime hubs or Bird hubs are inconvenient spots for you, you’ll make less money if you have to travel too far to get the job done. Depending on the popularity of either company in your city, this is a huge consideration to factor in.
In some cases, juicers can get cutthroat about grabbing up scooters. Lime is bringing order to the chaos by introducing a Reserve feature. This allows juicers to reserve, and lay claim to, a scooter before picking it up at the end of the day for charging.
Now, harvesting for Lime is not a first-come, first-served situation. In the past, harvesting could only be done once the juicer arrived at the scooter’s location and unlocked it with the Lime app.
There have been some scary situations that involved people hoarding scooters in an attempt to defraud the companies, with criminals using scooters to lure juicers into unsafe areas. Since this job takes you to strange places mostly at night, there are serious safety concerns to consider before working as a juicer, and it’s important that you stay vigilant and take common-sense precautions.
Make Lime juicing your next side gig
If you want an easy after-hours gig to add to your rideshare or delivery income, juicing for Lime could be just the ticket. Like all gig driving work, there are some risks to deal with, but for the most part, the benefits outweigh the risks.
And, just like rideshare and delivery, having a strategy is crucial. Once you get the hang of things, figure out where the best scooter hubs are, and lay out your money-making plan from there.
One last consideration about being a juicer: You’ll need a vehicle that’s large enough to hold the scooters. You’ll also need to take measures to protect the inside of the car from upholstery tears and scuff marks, or other damage caused by the scooters.
When you’re ready to roll, all you need to do is start juicing for Lime.
Do you have any tips and tricks for being a Lime juicer? Leave your comment to tell us how to make this gig even sweeter.