As first revealed by the Herald on December 3, Uber is bringing its e-scooter brand to New Zealand.

"Jump by Uber" is one of two e-scooter companies joining a Wellington City Council trial.

The other is locally-owned start-up Flamingo, backed by local entrepreneurs Nick Hyland and Jackson Love.

A six-month e-scooter trial will start in the capital in mid-June.


Lime - despite being part-owned by Uber - is fuming at being missed out.

"We are shocked and disappointed not to have been chosen as one of the operators to take part in Wellington's electric scooter trial," Lime NZ public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox told the Herald.

"Lime has been working closely with the Council for more than six months to bring our premium service to the city.

"Since we launched in the Hutt Valley, we have seen more than 170,000 trips with more than 40,000 riders, and more than two million rides in New Zealand.

"As the only operator of record, we have 20 staff and hundreds of people in our juicer community who are ready to go. This is a loss for the entire region."

Lime scooters returned to Auckland streets on March 7 after a week's suspension following a (now-resolved) bug that saw 31 injured by braking issues. Council COO Dean Kimpton said he wanted to hear about any further issues from Lime itself - and within 48 hours - rather than through the media.

In the Wellington trial, Flamingo will charge $1 then 30c minute - the same as recent Auckland arrival Wave, and Lime, which is part of trials in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Lower Hutt.

Jump by Uber has yet to reveal its pricing.

Jump by Uber e-scooters. Photo / 123rf
Jump by Uber e-scooters. Photo / 123rf

Uber spokeswoman Nicky Preston says the around 400 Jump scooters will be put on Wellington streets.

"We do not have any immediate plans to launch in other New Zealand cities," she says.

"We will continue discussions with city officials and look for new ways to support Kiwis and sustainable transport options for our cities."

The San Francisco-based Jump was bought by Uber in April last year for US$200m.

Uber, along with Google and various venture capitalists, is also a major investor in Lime.

One of Flamingo's e-scooters. Photo / Supplied.
One of Flamingo's e-scooters. Photo / Supplied.

A rep for Flamingo said unlike Wave (which licenses technology and an app from US e-scooter giant Bird), the Wellington startup is creating its own app for a fleet of Segway Ninebot scooters (the Chinese-made Ninebot being the dominant brand across the e-scooter industry. It's also used by Lime and Bird).

Flamingo also has a trial licence for 400 e-scooters.

The startup plans to expand to other centres once it's established in the capital.

For its part, Uber plans to develop self-driving e-scooters and e-bikes, that will be able to return to popular pickup points on autopilot after being left at a far-flung location or recharging point.