5 Apr 22

Google’s method to bring employees back to the office: free e-scooters

Google is using micro-mobility to motivate its employees to come back to the office after the pandemic. The technology giant is offering free e-scooters, which are an easy option to resume commuting to the office. 

Under the 'Ride Scoot' programme, Google has partnered with e-scooter manufacturer Unagi to provide its Model One scooter to its employees. Retailing at $990 (€902), the Unagi Model One has a top speed of 32 km/h and a 25 km range. Google employees who join 'Ride Scoot' will get reimbursed for a full monthly subscription.

The idea is to provide a smooth ride to the office or bus stops in Silicon Valley, where Google has a free shuttle bus service. 

Bolstering corporate mobility 

California-based manufacturer Unagi turned out to be the ideal partner for Google's subscription-based free e-scooter programme. Unagi bases its service on monthly subscriptions and has tested this business model in New York and Los Angeles. After several investors raised $10.5 million in May 2021, Unagi set its sights on expanding into more cities across the U.S. and is also planning to launch in Europe. 

Unagi offers a $49 a month subscription in its cities and delivers the Unagi Model One to customers’ addresses. The additional $50 sign-up fee covers maintenance and insurance. 

Unagi will offer Model One e-scooters at various Google offices under the 'Ride Scoot' programme. According to The Verge, employees pay a discounted $44.10 per month and a $50 enrollment fee, which Google will reimburse. The tech giant will also add e-scooter subscriptions as transportation options to its internal employee portal. 

The condition for full reimbursement is to use e-scooters at least nine times a month. Google won’t be tracking its employees, as it plans to use the honour system. The free e-scoote- based mobility model will be available in Google’s main headquarters in Mountain View and in its offices in Seattle, Kirkland, Irvine, Sunnyvale, Playa Vista, Austin, and New York City.

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Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen