Have you ever rented a car to get around a city you're visiting, or borrows a friend's, only to find that you've paid a bunch of money for the convenience of travelling four or five miles back and forth a couple times? Even Zipcar can feel a little wasteful at times, especially if you're the only one it's carrying.

The video shows and only discusses the iPhone mount, but Android mounts are available, too.

Well, Scoot Scooters wants to make electric scooter rentals a thing, and they're doing it in a way that can only be described as pretty effing awesome. Here's how it works.

Scoot Scooters are located throughout a city (right now, only San Francisco), sort of like Zipcars. You show up at a Scoot lot, and again like Zipcar, you can use an app on your phone to reserve a ride. But the similarities end there.

Scoots are fitted with a round docking plate for Android and iOS devices that place your phone into. When your phone recognizes it's connected to the scooter, the Scoot app pops up and starts feeding you telemetry from the scooter. You can see the battery charge remaining, speed, your location on a map, and the time length you've rented the scooter (hourly rentals are one option, so this is useful). Once you're done, you can just tap "end ride" when you've returned the scooter to its lot, and you're rental is terminated.

And in California, you can legally rent a low displacement, low-speed scooter for up to 48 hours continuously without needing an M1 or M2 2-wheeled certification on your driver's license. Which makes sense, obviously. "You've never ridden a motorcycle before? Oh, you're going to use it for less than 48 hours. That's OK. Go ahead."

scoots with docks2

The scooters max out around 25-30MPH, depending on how much you weigh, and are good for a solid 25 miles of city scooting.

Right now, the service, as I said, is limited to San Francisco. You also have to be a monthly member of Scoot - there are no one-time rentals available. This is mostly because Scoot wants SF residents only as customers right now, and is putting a priority on getting local businesses on board with the service before they make a wider launch. Monthly members get included liability insurance, promises that the scooters will be maintained, and they'll even teach you how to ride a scooter if you never have before.

The Android app itself doesn't appear to be available yet, but it's likely on the way - Scoot only launched recently.

Gigaom, Scoot Networks