2020 signalled significant progress in both the adoption and acceptance of e-scooters around the UK. While several legal obstacles remain before this mode of transport reaches mass market penetration, growing conversations around the UK’s Net Zero emissions and the impact of more sustainable transport solutions has meant that the prevalence of e-scooters in UK communities has never been higher.
E-Scooter usage on public roads is still illegal, however, that isn’t the case if being used as part of a government-approved trial. With widespread public concern remaining regarding the safety of public transport during the ongoing pandemic, 2020 saw several successful trials around the country with commuters and consumers alike jumping on the proverbial e-scooter bandwagon. This trend has continued into the new year, with trials now scheduled all the way from the North East right down to the South Coast.
The key stumbling block between where we are now and widespread adoption of this technology is undoubtedly safety, so the continued success of these trials is inarguably helping to address these concerns and win over policymakers and potential end-users alike.
While several brands such as former client Lime, Stockholm-based Voi and Tier Mobility have made some initial headway in to the UK market, here we shine a spotlight on five of the up and coming e-scooter brands that have the potential to own the conversation around micro-mobility here in the UK.
Founded in Singapore in 2016, Neuron Mobility has become one of Asia’s leading micro-mobility providers. Following significant growth across South-East Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand, 2021 is set to be a pivotal year in the brand’s growth with global expansion in their sights.
The UK is set to be a key market on this journey and Neuron Mobility launched in Slough in 2020, helping the town’s front-line NHS staff power through the pandemic by offering free monthly passes to all NHS Emergency Service Workers. The next stop for the brand is in the North-East and over the coming months the business is powering a trial in Newcastle with 250 e-scooters being made available for public usage.
Neuron Mobility are starting to gain some real momentum in the UK and are without doubt one of the most exciting challenger brands to keep a close eye on.
Another brand that is starting to make waves on the world stage is Israeli start-up 8Tev. Founded in Tel Aviv, as of August 2020 the brand is now available in both the UK and in Greece.
Available for purchase at Pure Electric (who we touch on later in this article) 8Tev’s sturdy B12 model is the first e-scooter on the market to be made using motorcycle components.
Having previously grown an e-scooter business (Scootin) from the ground-up to circa £1m turnover in just two years, founder Itzik Ben Aharon is a certified expert on the market and if 8Tev follows a similar trajectory is certainly one to watch out for as we head in to 2021.
The level of technology within Link’s e-scooters leads the market in many ways and sets them apart from several of their competitors. By cross-referencing GPS with maps stored directly within their vehicles, Link’s e-scooters boast the ability to enforce geofencing, preventing the scooter and its occupant from travelling in to restricted areas such as pavements or private land. As soon as a user enters a restricted area the scooter’s engine will begin to cut out automatically, preventing any unwanted consequences such as collisions with pedestrians.
The scooters are also able to self-diagnose, meaning that they are constantly assessing their own functions and can identify any potential faults or hazards, an important step in addressing consumer safety concerns following several high-profile negative news stories throughout 2020.
Unlike the other businesses included in this article, Pure Electric is not an e-scooter manufacturer itself, it is a marketplace for consumers, councils and businesses alike. Having experienced significant growth as the demand for micro-mobility solutions soared, Pure Electric now have 17 physical stores in the UK from Bristol all the way up to Edinburgh, as well as a market-leading website that has become the go-to platform for anyone looking to purchase an e-Scooter.
Stocking technology from the industry’s leading brands and now expanding into Europe with stores in Paris and Madrid, the breadth of products available at Pure Electric means that they are uniquely qualified to comment on the industry and place themselves at the forefront of the conversation around the future of urban transport.
Spin (Ford Mobility):
Backed by Ford as part of their commitment to future mobility solutions, Spin are primarily based in the US however they have recently been trusted by Essex County Council to deliver a rental trial across the county encompassing Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Basildon, Brentwood and Clacton.
This latest trial consolidates upon the brand’s success in Milton Keynes where they have been safely and successfully operating for the past six months. Safety was the key concern ahead of the trial with Spin holding a series of public education events for residents to come out and learn more about how to ride safely. The trial has been a resounding success so far, with over 10,000 rides in the first month alone.
Is your e-Scooter brand ready to make a splash here in the UK? Get in touch with our expert team today to discuss how we could help.