Superpedestrian, the US-based micromobility company, is due to launch its Link shared e-scooters in 20 new European cities before the end of August.
The company was already operating in Rome, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares, but is prepared for a busy period of over the spring and summer with new launches already starting in Turin, Palermo and Aprilia in Italy, as well as in Malaga in Spain.
Superpedestrian’s first market outside of Italy and Spain will be Austria, with new operations planned for launch in the capital Vienna soon.
Haya Verwoord Douidri, Superpedestrian VP EMEA, said: “We’re growing our European operations by eight or nine times over the next few months.
“Some of the launches will be in big city locations like Vienna and Stockholm.
“We’re now on a speedy expansion journey.”
Verwoord acknowledged it is important to take the time to expand and to make sure the company is ready to launch in each market.
She said: “We’re in conversations with around 50 cities.
“We take around four to five months to work with each location to explain the technology, understand any concerns, understand the needs from a public transport perspective and how can we better integrate with existing systems.”
Ireland launch is on the cards for Q4
Another big market getting prepped for launch is Ireland.
The Irish e-scooter market has been going through rounds of legislation to pave the way for shared e-scooter operators to launch in areas like Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford.
According to Verwoord, a launch towards the end of this year in Q4 is looking likely, taking into account the tender process each location will go through before picking their partners.
She said: “We’re set up to service big cities, but we can also service smaller locations with fleets of around 200 e-scooters.
“We can make the cost per unit economics of running a fleet work in smaller locations.”
This is made possible by having longer range batteries on Superpedestrian’s Link scooter batteries, as well as being able to make upgrades “over the air” to extend the lifespan of the fleet.
UK entry for the future
Superpedestrian did not win any tender contracts for the UK market as part of the Department for Transport trials, but Verwoord said the company was shortlisted as one of the contenders for the forthcoming London trial.
Verwoord said: “The London tender came two or three months after our European launch, so it was huge that we secured a place on the shortlist.
“Although from a technology and innovation perspective we’ve been around since 2013, from actually showing proof points of how we service other cities, we were quite new.”
The UK is still very much a market Superpedestrian is looking at for expansion in Europe, particularly if there is an opportunity for towns and cities to re-tender, or at the end of the 12 month trials.
Verwoord said: “We’re a long-term focussed company in general. We made a conscious choice to focus on safety and technology for two years building the Link scooter.
“We didn’t want to just deploy fleets due to fear of missing out and we didn’t want to de-prioritise safety over growth.”