How we meet our 100% renewable energy commitment
We believe in a decarbonized and electrified future, which is why we ensure the growth of our business and the electricity powering our riders is from clean and renewable energy.
Andrew Savage, Head of Sustainability at Lime, authored this post.
Lime’s commitment to charging our batteries on 100% renewable energy started the moment we introduced our first electric vehicle, our original e-bike in 2019. This extended to e-scooters as they were introduced into the fleet later that year. In 2021, we doubled down on that renewable energy commitment, powering all Lime facilities – over 100 worldwide – on renewable energy as well.
People often ask, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles in disparate cities around the world, how do we meet this 100% renewable commitment? We’re glad to share a bit on how it’s done.
1. We power Lime facilities with local renewable energy.
First, for our Lime facilities, we work hard to develop local sourcing for our renewables. Aligned with that objective, we have more than three dozen contracts for buying renewable energy through the local utility or through another local renewable energy supplier. This includes working with organizations like Octopus Energy in the United Kingdom, Polarstern in Germany, Mölndal Energi in Sweden, Acea Energia in Rome, and CleanPowerSF in San Francisco.
2. We use renewable energy certificates where we don’t buy locally.
For any facility where we don’t directly buy renewable energy directly, we buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or Guarantees of Origins (GOs), depending on the region. These are renewable energy instruments assigned to every megawatt hour of renewable energy produced. When Lime buys them, we own “renewableness” of each unit of clean energy produced and are the only ones who can claim the renewable nature of that power. This has the dual benefit of being both renewables for Lime, but also adding demand for more renewables.
3. We measure all e-scooter and e-bike battery consumption
For our shared e-scooters and e-bikes, every battery has a Battery Management System and telemetrics onboard which tell us when the battery is charged or discharged. We measure every time our batteries are charged and by how much. The aggregate is the total energy consumption of our shared vehicles.
4. We ensure all charging is matched with renewables, regardless of charging location
For those vehicle batteries charged in our warehouses, we cover that consumption through our facilities renewable energy strategy. For the vehicles charged by local Logistics Partners who help us manage our fleet, we aggregate all of this energy consumed and buy the regional RECs or GOs where feasible to account for their consumption.
Since 2019 we’ve purchased more than 17,000 MWh of renewable energy through our renewables strategy. That’s enough energy to power nearly 1,000 U.S. homes for a year (ok, ok, our European friends, we know American homes consume too much!).
The decarbonized world of the future we’re fighting for demands electricity must be powered from renewable sources.
The reason “electrify everything” became such a compelling climate strategy is that electricity is such an efficient source of “fuel” and can be readily made renewable. Several years ago, many thought the transportation sector was furthest away from decarbonizing, since it has been so reliant upon burning fossil fuels for more than a century. Yet at Lime, we’re deploying a shared fleet of hundreds of thousands of e-bikes and e-scooters, powering more than 400 million lifetime rides and backed by sources like the wind and the sun.
Decarbonizing transportation isn’t just the future, it’s happening today.
Andrew Savage was on Lime's founding team and is the company's vice president of sustainability.