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Could This Side Hustle Be For You? Becoming a Contract Charger

What’s It All About?

Need to make a quick buck? Well, if you live in one of the urban areas populated with either Lime or Bird electric scooters, then you may just have found your answer. For you see, in order to keep the scooters fully charged from one rider to the next, they need to be charged, and that’s just where you come in. When one of these scooters loses their battery charge, they can no longer be rented out. These scooters are then hauled away to be charged, then replaced.

Basic electric scooter charging procedures will vary from company to company. Lime and Bird utilize private contractors to pick up the scooters. As a contractor, you’ll charge up the scooters using equipment sent to you by the company. Scooters in need of charging will appear on the app, which gives their location. You then head to that location, pick them up, charge them and return them.

The app also lets you know how much payment you’ll get for each scooter picked up, charged and returned. Depending on the type of escooter the company uses, count on at least a 5 hour charging time for each scooter, so only take as many scooters as you have outlets and time to charge fully.

There are no “official” charging stations. You simply take them home and charge them from there. Once charged, return them to the specified location. For example, Bird Scooters will be returned to the “Birds Nest”, and Lime scooters to the “LimeHub”.

What You’ll Need

As mentioned, the companies will generally send you cables, but if you intend on picking up more than a few scooters, then purchasing your own charging supplies can be helpful. Also, please consider your own gear. Dress according to the weather, and make sure that you wear a reflective vest so you’re visible as you collect the scooters. Since you’ll have to get the scooters to their station before 7 a.m., bring a dependable flashlight for any darker areas you may come across.

About How Much Will I Make?

Exactly how much you make as a charger depends on the company you contract for and how long the scooter has been left without a charge. In general, the pay can go from $3 to $7 or more per scooter. So if you pick up 3 scooters an hour you can bring in $15 to $21 an hour. If you happen to find a scooter which has been missing, the pay can get as high as $20. However, in the time you spend hunting down a lost scooter you probably could have charged over 5 scooters, and with much less hassle.

Also, steer clear of areas on any app that are marked ‘hoarders, don’t waste your time. Hoarders are people who take a scooter and ‘hoard’ it, so that it’s reported as missing, so when they charge it up, they get a higher payout. Know that companies are aware of this scam, and are ever vigilant, and will let you go if you’re caught hoarding.

Also, know that you’ll have to get the scooters in place early. Bird, for instance, wants its scooters available for commuters by 7 a.m. If you’re late, you can expect to get less pay for our efforts. Also know that escooter rental companies will set a cap on the number of scooters which  can be parked at each station. So if you arrive at a scooter station and the limit is 6, and there is already 6 scooters in place, you’ll have to go to the next available hub or nest.

Helpful Resources

We want this side hustle to prove to be a successful option for you. While the process is pretty straightforward, chances are you may have some questions regarding topics we did not cover. In that case, we’ve included a few online resources to help you get acquainted with the charger world. These forums are filled with friendly, helpful people just like you.  If you don’t find what you need in one of these resources, know that Youtube has quite a few videos where chargers help to show you the ropes.

Where to Apply

As you can see, this is a great side hustle for those of you looking to make a few extra dollars. You can scan the area for scooters to pick up during the day, bring them home to be charged overnight, and drop them off in the morning, the perfect gig for the university student.

If the above companies do not service your country or city, then check up on this list collated by Crunchbase, as it has a comprehensive list of companies that offer escooter rental services in other countries. Finally, know that you can become a charger for multiple scooter rental companies. If Lime, Bird and Spin supply rental scooters to your area, then sign up for all three!

Final Thoughts

Becoming a charger is a great way to grab some extra beer money, or pay for those theater tickets. While you won’t get rich, depending on your effort and location, you can probably score around $300 to $600 per money. Be aware that while there are stories of people making up to $1000 a month or more, they usually have a large van or pick up, and have access to an area where they can charge all those scooters. As a side hustle, this is a good one. The companies are reliable, they pay, and treat their chargers well. Not only that, they supply you with the equipment you’ll need, so there’s no out of pocket expense.

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