With the U.K. federal government set to accelerate the trials of e-scooter rentals in a bid to reduce crowding on public transportation and support social distancing during the coronavirus crisis, Europe’s e-scooter business are gearing up to be prepared.
The current relocation sees Sweden-headquartered Voi Innovation recruit Richard Corbett to head up its U.K., Ireland and Benelux operations. Corbett signs up with from competing Bird, where he invested 2 years as the U.S. company’s U.K. and Ireland chief, along with helping to introduce e-scooter rentals in Netherlands.
This side of the pond, Corbett was best known for releasing e-scooters on personal land at Queen Elizabeth Park in East London, which was a major site for the London 2012 Summer Season Olympics. It has actually considering that become home to a ‘tech center’, housing a number of tech and associated organisations and media-focused organisations, together with co-working spaces, a big conference space, and various Olympic-standard sports facilities.
“Richard Corbett joins Voi instantly as head of the Swedish company’s UK, Ireland and Benelux operations, as the UK government prepares to change the law to lastly allow e-scooters to be ridden on roadways and cyclepaths,” discusses Voi, adding that he’ll be responsible for leading Voi’s push into the UK, where it expects to see at least 50,000 rides daily by the end of 2020 in London.
Explains Fredrik Hjelm, CEO and co-founder of Voi Technology, in a statement: “Out of this terrible pandemic, there is a chance to reinvent the manner in which we travel around cities so that we can cut blockage and pollution for excellent. Now more than ever a collaborative approach to mobility is required and we need to make sure that there are good non-polluting options readily available, that match all pockets and capabilities. There is a huge unmet need for e-scooters in U.K. towns and cities and Voi will work carefully with local authorities and other transport operators to supply brand-new movement choices”.
Out of real curiosity, I asked Corbett what he has actually been doing over the last 2 years, considering how limited Bird’s U.K. launch was.
“The Olympic Park was the UK’s extremely first ‘e-scooter display room’, where stakeholders across no. 10, DfT, DEFRA, DHSC, cities, transportation authorities and transportation groups could test ride an e-scooter and develop an informed opinion about this brand-new mode of transportation,” he informed me. “This trial was essential to get us to where we are today”.
To that end, one of Corbett’s very first jobs is to continue constructing out the U.K. team, and working carefully with U.K. local authorities and transportation operators to bring e-scooter leasings to the U.K. cities that could benefit a lot of.
“I’m truly proud to have belonged to the group who led the discussions to make e-scooters a top priority and I strongly believe that they will be an option to the U.K.’s pollution and transportation issues, not simply a fun way to get around,” he states. “I’m likewise really thrilled to be returning to this project and in particular with Voi, which is a European business which truly understands how people move around older cities like London. We share the exact same worths and are passionate about creating much better cities for people to live in.”
On the other hand, it has been a challenging time for Voi, along with other e-scooter rental companies, including Lime, Bird, Tier and others, as many countries went into lockdown and demand for scooter flights dropped. This forced Voi to stop briefly operations in the bulk of cities it operates in, with just a handful of its largest cities being serviced.
Ever since, lockdowns throughout Europe have started to lift, and Voi states it has actually been putting more e-scooters back on the streets of numerous European cities, including in France and Germany. Throughout the pandemic, it likewise preserved service in essential cities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, in part to assist crucial workers navigate and to help charities supporting individuals throughout the on-going crisis.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.