Juicing the Limes

Charging e-scooters sounds like a good way to make some extra cash, we spoke to one insider to find out what the job's really like.

Image for Juicing the Limes

Photo courtesy of Lime. What’s it really like to be a ‘juicer’?

Ever considered getting cash out of charging e-scooters? Uli (38) tells us about his 19 days’ experience.

“I liked the idea of e-scooters from the beginning – I am usually around Mitte and they’re a great way to get around fast. When I saw that Lime was offering people to become chargers, or ‘juicers’ as they call it, I was curious. I wanted to be part of the e-mobility revolution! And it’s all pretty easy: after you’ve registered online they invite you to a training workshop for a 30-minute Power Point presentation about the Dos and Dont’s of the job – for example you cannot drop the scooters anywhere, there are assigned points. That’s when you get the chargers, too. Then you sign a very lengthy contract, with more things you’re not supposed to do – like taking scooters apart or leaking information to the competition. It’s all ultra top secret! And there are serious penalties – €5000 for this, €1000 for that, and if a scooter gets lost while in your hands you have to pay for it. It’s all done on contractual gig basis, so you have to register yourself as a business to do the job, or at least as a freelancer. I already have a property business, so that was easy. At the end, they send you receipts and you have to claim this as an income. With €4 to €4.60 per charge, if you want to make a living, you’ll have to charge 25 pieces per night! With my full-time job, I’m not so fussed about the cash. When I’m on my way home from the U-Bahn I just check if there are any scooters around; you’re allowed to take them from 9pm onwards, or at any time if the batteries are dead. I’ve found a way to stack two on top of the one I’m riding, as the Limes have a very broad board. You’re not supposed to do that of course… But this way I can ride with three at a time without having to use a car! That earns me about €15 per day – if I make it on time. If you don’t manage to deliver them back by the drop-off time in the morning, they cut the fee in half. And they recently moved the deadline to 7am! That definitely makes me reconsider.”