It's the latest and greenest way to travel - Lime e-scooters have already taken New Zealand by storm with the company's app topping the NZ app store after its launch on Monday.

Lime released 600 and 400 dock-free scooters in Auckland and Christchurch respectively and has now seen its app rise 384 places to number one in the app store.

Scooter users would be able to unlock a scooter in the app for $1 and would be charged 30 cents per minute of use. People employed as independent contractors called "juicers" would collect the scooters at about 9pm, charge them up and distribute them at about 4am the next day. The location of the scooters can be seen through the app.

"We are seeing a huge amount of demand," Lime launcher Cameron Swanson said.


"The fact that we're number one in the app store, above Instagram and Facebook, is exceptional."

It was the first launch of the scooter in the southern hemisphere. Swanson said there would be a review after three months to establish whether more scooters were needed and in other areas. He said it was likely Auckland and Christchurch would see an increase the number of scooters to 2500 and 1500 respectively.

The scooters travel at about 22-23km/h and the use of helmets was advised but not compulsory. Swanson said the scooters were a cheap means of travel and users wouldn't have to worry once they reached their destination.

"The beauty of the programme is that the don't necessarily need to be returned to a specific location, they can be wherever within our geo-fenced zone."

He said juicers picked up 80 per cent of the scooters, while full-time Lime staff collected the rest. Juicers were offered incentives to find missing scooters to ensure all were returned to a charging station in the evening.

Swanson said the scooters were secure as they required the app to be unlocked and they couldn't be hacked into.

"There might be a little bit of vandalism at the beginning but once people get used to the fact that these scooters are here, it'll wane. We respond to vandalism in real time."

Swanson said he expected the introduction of the scooters to increase the users for public transportation methods like buses and trains across the two cities.


"I do expect we would [see an increase] because the service really makes public transportation more accessible. The fact that we share data with the city should be quite helpful."