Sweden e-scooter startup Voi Technology wins first large-scale exclusive trial deal in UK

Sweden e-scooter startup Voi Technology wins first large-scale exclusive trial deal in UK

Published: 08-08-2020 14:17:47 | By: Bob Koigi | hits: 1339 | Tags:

Swedish-founded micro-mobility startup Voi Technology is getting ready to put its first fleet of e-scooters on UK streets, after being selected to run an exclusive e-scooter trial for Cambridge and provide micro-mobility services across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region.

The startup was the only e-scooter operator selected for the university city of Cambridge, renowned for its world class academic institutions and love of micro-mobility, as the council looks to encourage active travel in line with the national government initiative to reduce the burden on the public transport network while Cambridgeshire citizens start going back to work.

Voi will put the first of its distinctive coral e-scooters into Cambridge by September and the operator will work closely with local transport providers, including train and bus operators in the cities. The initial trial will last for 12 months.

With this exclusive contract win, the Swedish e-scooter provider is now live in more than 45 cities in 11 countries.

As part of the trial, Voi will offer rides at £1 to unlock + £0.20 per minute, create over 50 FTE jobs, integrate fully with Iomob as the network provider’s preferred partner, the Cambridgeshire Cycling Campaign and support CPCA’s plans for the Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM) and provide safety pop-ups and helmets at launch events among other services.

Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO, Voi Technology: “We are delighted to announce that Cambridge, the world’s most renowned city for innovation and technology, will be the first place in the UK where people can use a Voi e-scooter and enjoy the benefits of this liberating new form of transport. People are keen to get out of their cars and want greener transport choices. Cities that are serious about cutting pollution and congestion see that this is a huge opportunity to introduce a mode of transport that can radically improve how we get around urban areas. We can’t wait to get started in Cambridgeshire which has some of the best cycling infrastructure in the UK making it an ideal location to launch this revolutionary transport. We are seeing the biggest change in the way people travel in a hundred years and Voi is here to help the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority bring about this huge shift in culture and travel habits, to the benefit of both cities and their residents.”

Mayor James Palmer, leader, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority: “Electric bikes and scooters have the potential to revolutionise travel and I am delighted that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be the first region in the country to make both available to the public so they can enjoy quicker, healthier journeys. “This year has seen a 27% drop in carbon emissions and a 200% increase in cycling, with people enjoying soaring air quality and fitter lifestyles, the benefits to moving away from cars and buses are clear and our investment shows we are committed to rolling out a fully integrated active travel network for our region.”

Richard Corbett, UK GM, Voi Technology: “As normal life resumes across the UK and people return to workplaces and shops, the need for quick, convenient and covid-safe transport is increasing. Cars no longer suit the way we live now. 60% of car journeys in the UK are between 1 to 3 miles, significantly adding to congestion. We estimate that 1 in 5 of these journeys across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region could be replaced by low-carbon e-scooters with a minimum 24 month lifespan. E-scooters provide a compelling alternative that will outrun the car.”

On average, 106 deaths per year in the Greater Cambridge region alone can be attributed to air pollution. The partnership between Voi and the CPCA will aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 395 tonnes across the region by August 2021.

Within the first three months of operation, Voi will assess and present recommendations to the CPCA on any additional infrastructure requirements for e-scooters, based on user feedback and user journey data, including feedback from disability group associations such as RNIB and Disabilities Move UK.

It is also committed to upholding the CPCA’s health and safety policy to prevent the spread of coronavirus across the region. Voi is rolling out Shieldex® Copper-Tape tape on handlebars, designed to kill 99.98% of coronavirus on contact, and all scooters are disinfected every 24 hours. Voi is also providing COVID-19 information and advice in its app.

As part of the trial, Voi will also integrate with Iomob, an app that allows customers to sign up and pay for their transport choices in one place. Other transport partnerships are being put in place.

Voi now has three e-scooter models approved by the DfT and is bidding to run further trials with councils and regional authorities across the country. Cities including Liverpool, West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley), Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol and Bath and Southampton were amongst those to express interest in running a pilot.

Voi is the fastest-growing pan-European micro mobility startup providing e-scooters and e-bikes to five million registered users. Voi has achieved 20 million rides to date.