Traditionally we paid “by use” for modes of transport we could not afford to buy ourselves (eg Trains, Buses and Ferries). In general we pay for Taxis and Uber for irregular trips.
I believe that E Scooters are part of the transport solution. Their use can be divided into 2 categories.
1. Regular users - commuters (Eg Work / University).
2. Irregular users - Holidays, business meetings, leisure As E Scooters are portable, they are not as problematic as bicycles in terms of end of trip storage.
Therefore a regular user would find it more economical to buy outright an E Scooter than a PAYG scheme.
E Scooter rental apps (Bird / Lime) are therefore limited to irregular users. Their business model is limited to this market.
My other thought is that government could subsidise an E Scooter Rent to buy scheme. Especially for University students. Uni students are often early adopters and Universities are some of the largest traffic generators in the city.