Zwings has launched its Sky Blue coloured e-scooters in Sunderland today as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) e-scooter trial in the city.
The new shared micromobility operator was appointed by Sunderland City Council to replace Neuron after it pulled out blaming rising energy costs as part of its decision.
Initially, 100 e-scooters will be deployed in more than 100 parking bays across the city. This number will then rise significantly in 2023.
UK-based Zwings will be looking to ensure it can run a commercially successful scheme.
It will look to achieve this by ensuring all operating costs are tuned to the size of the fleet in the city. Zwings will also be using its own fleet software to establish smart re-locations for the e-scooters to maximise profits.
Furthermore, the firm will be increasing the supply of e-scooters to match the demand rather than putting too many e-scooters on the streets which then become under-utilised. It will increase the fleet size in 2023 until marginal revenue from an additional e-scooter equals the marginal cost of operating it.
Zwings currently operates rental schemes in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Yeovil and was recently acquired by Zeus Mobility Group, which operates in more than 30 cities globally.
“Shared e-scooters can be successful in Sunderland by ensuring that operations are both smart and lean,” Zwings COO Stephen Bee told Zag Daily. “Both Zwings and Zeus have perfected an operating model across Europe, for small and medium sized cities, that ensures good profitability at city level.”
The new e-scooter will be Zwings’ safest yet, according to the company. Ride stability will improve with front fork suspension and pneumatic tyres; directional indicators will allow signalling without removing hands from handlebars; and a wireless phone holder will improve navigation for riders, so they do not have to stop for directions.
The unlock fee is £0.60 and each additional minute costs £0.23. Frequent riders can take advantage of subscription packages that will give up to 75% off usage of the service, which can be found in the app.
Zwings will also be hosting training schools just after launch where helmets will be available for riders that attend.
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Sunderland City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, commented: “Newer, greener and low-carbon transport is important for all of us.
“I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Zwings so that residents and visitors can continue to safely enjoy the benefits of this low carbon travel scheme.”