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London calling as UK rides approach new milestone

19 May 2021

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The past month has been a significant one in the world of micromobility, most notably in the UK.

Yesterday, Transport for London finally revealed the three operators that had been chosen for the London e-scooter trials, with Tier, Lime and Dott confirmed as expected.

The same three operators were chosen to run e-scooter trials in Paris, with the London launch set to take place on 7 June.

Despite operating in 18 regions across the UK already, Sweden-based provider Voi missed out.

This news came shortly after the Department for Transport took the decision to extend the UK e-scooter trials until March 31 2022.

The trials had been set to end in November, but delays to the start in a number of locations have resulted in an extension being granted.

With the trials set to run on into 2022, it will be important to note how large fleets across the UK become and whether take-up continues to rise.

Zag research suggests that while there are currently just over 11,000 shared e-scooters available for hire in the UK, there could be 47,000 e-scooters available come March next year, provided the trials are allowed to expand to the maximum sizes permitted and interest remains high.

Whether this comes to pass or not is difficult to predict at this stage, but much will depend on the desire of operators to invest and expand.

On our radar:

1. Superpedestrian partners with ACI on e-scooter training course in Rome

What: Micromobility firm Superpedestrian announced a partnership with the Automobile Club d’Italia, which saw the establishment of a new e-scooter training module aimed at both riders and motorists.

Why it matters: The Superpedestrian and ACI link-up is an interesting step in the relationship between micromobility firms and motorists. With e-scooters becoming increasingly prevalent, how they interact with cars is a important safety consideration. TfL has taken similar steps to improve safety, with London e-scooter riders set to watch a safety demonstration before their first journey.

2. UK e-scooter journeys approaching three million

What: According to Zag data, total journeys on shared e-scooters in the UK could reach three million by the end of May.

Why it matters: With the UK trials approaching their one-year anniversary, this is an important milestone and one that comes before several areas have really reached their potential. The extent to which the trials in London prove a success will go a long way to determining whether future milestones will be met, but this is certainly a promising sign.

3. E-scooter use set for vaccine bounce

What: E-scooter usage could be set to rise as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available according to research by the Oliver Wyman Forum.

Why it matters: The Oliver Wyman Forum found that 76% of responders would feel more comfortable using a shared e-scooter or bicycle once vaccines are widely available than they would today, a promising sign given the pace at which people around the world are getting jabbed. With sustainability also seen as a priority by more people than in the past, micromobility firms should keep an eye on this development.

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