UK passes 20,000 shared e-scooter milestone

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The UK shared e-scooter trials hit a milestone this week, as the number of e-scooters on the ground exceeds 20,000 for the first time.

Now 15 months after the launch of an initial 25 e-scooters in Middlesbrough, and six months after passing the 10,000 mark, this latest milestone consolidates the UK’s position as the sixth largest country in Europe for shared e-scooters, neck-and-neck with France but well behind Poland, Italy, Sweden and Germany.  

Despite colder, less clement weather for e-scooting on the way, a number of fleets have continued to expand, including the Dott/Lime/TIER triumvirate of around 3,000 in London, and Liverpool’s Voi e-scooters, now up to 1,800. Growing more quickly, in percentage terms, include Voi in Oxford, Spin/Lime/Ginger in Milton Keynes and Beryl in Norwich. 

Only a few systems have shrunk recently. Notably, Neuron in Slough is quite a bit smaller than it was in the summer. Spin in Clacton has also decreased recently and Zag Daily understands that the operation here is closing altogether at the end of the month, so it may be winding down already. Bird in Canterbury is rebuilding after dramatically paring back its fleet due to vandalism issues.  

Voi continues to dominate the UK shared e-scooter scene, with around 55 per cent of all the shared e-scooters on the ground being owned and managed by the Swedish company. TIER, Spin, Dott and Lime also each operate over 1,000 e-scooters in the UK.

TIER and Lime (and shortly Dott) also operate shared e-bikes in the country. Together, the five companies have over 80 per cent of the UK’s shared e-scooters, with the seven others (Neuron, Beryl, Wind, Ginger, Zwings, Zipp and Bird) managing the remaining 20 per cent between them. 

The continued growth overall comes despite two small fleets, in Chard and Crewkerne, closing at the weekend. Operator Zwings confirmed that the fleet operations in the two towns, which were designed to test the feasibility of shared e-scooter operations in remote communities, have ended.

Zwings is focusing on its larger, more popular operations in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Yeovil. The number of fleet closures since the start of the trials is six, with 51 shared fleets still operating.

Zag Daily has updated its data widget, visible on the front page, to reflect the current consolidation and building-out phase of the UK trials, now that the launch programme has finished. As counting the total number of available scooters, it lists the numbers of fleets, cities/towns and operators active in the market. The trials, specified by the Department for Transport, are generally due to finish in March 2022.  

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