The Guardian

Scoot alors! Will Paris fall in love with the electric scooter?

One of a handful of e-scooter startups sweeping the US, Lime is now out to conquer Europe, starting with the French capital. A Paris resident takes it for a test ride
Easy rider? Katy Lee on a Lime e-scooter in Paris. Photograph: Laura Stevens for the Guardian

Try as I might, I just can’t get behind the idea that riding a scooter is suddenly cool. Phoebe Bridgers, an indisputably hip musician, nearly pulled it off when she scooted around Los Angeles in last summer’s video for her song Motion Sickness, but even then the effect was charmingly dorky. No one, not even someone who is actually cool, can scoot without looking like an oversized child.

Still, it is 2018 and we all need to face our prejudices. So I headed into Paris to try out the first “free-floating” electric scooters available for hire in Europe, left out on the streets and controlled with a mobile app.

I have lived in the French capital for three years, mostly navigating it by bike. Now, it is the testing ground for US startups’ grand plans of conquering Europe with a craze that has swept dozens of US cities from Washington DC to San Francisco. To their fans, e-scooters are

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