Bird Hatches an Electric Moped — and Big Questions

A new crop of electric mopeds has sprouted in Austin, Texas, once again provoking widespread pearl-clutching about pedestrian and bicyclist safety — discussions that ignore just how much safer mopeds are than cars.

The move comes nine months after Bird acquired moped company Scoot Rides, and the pedal-less motorbikes will retain the subsidiary’s mildly confusing name and distinctive red branding. But whatever name Bird stamps on the side, its Austin experiment is still the first time that a multi-billion-dollar micromobility company has experimented with vehicles that can travel faster than an e-bike — that’s raising some big questions about the future of the industry.