Northamptonshire County Council has awarded a 12-month trial to e-scooter operator Voi.
It will introduce 300 e-scooters across the region, with the option to extend the trial up to 2,000 units.
By reducing car and public transport use, the e-scooters are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 400 tonnes across the region by August 2021.
Jason Smithers, cabinet member with responsibility for Highways and Place for Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Northamptonshire is committed to improving access to greener, more sustainable, more affordable transport for the benefit of everyone. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Voi to bring this exciting new form of transport to residents and businesses across the region.
“We chose to partner with Voi because of its collaborative, responsible approach which is going to help us achieve our 2030 Climate-neutral target. In the short-term ‘post-lockdown’, we are keen to see how the use of e-scooters can help people get back to work, education and training, especially with capacity restricted on public transport.”
E-scooter rental trials were given the green light to start from the beginning of the July – a year earlier than planned - to help encourage more people off public transport in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Northamptonshire's trial forms part of the Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative, which is utilising new technology and innovative solutions to help manage the transport network, provide better information to users and offer more choice as to how they travel.
Richard Corbett, UK GM of Voi Technology, said: “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 one to three miles, significantly adding to congestion. We estimate that one in five of these journeys across Northamptonshire 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.”
Using the e-scooters will cost £1 plus 20p per minute. Subscriptions are available for £10 per day or £40 per month.
Across the country, more than 50 councils and regional authorities are putting in place e-scooter pilots. Cities including Liverpool, West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley), Cambridge and Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Southampton were among those to express interest, according to Voi.
Tees Valley Combined Authority began hosting the first e-scooter trials last month. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has also appointed Voi to provide e-bikes across the region and test out e-scooters in the centre of Cambridge.
TIER launches new e-scooter with insurance from Zego
TIER is deploying a fleet of new e-scooters across UK cities, which features swappable batteries, a foldable helmet and indicator lights.
Users can earn free rides by swapping out batteries at designated charging stations, which will be rolled out at convenience stores, cafes and other locations.
The company has also teamed up with Zego to provide insurance cover for its soon-to-be-deployed UK fleet.
The partnership follows the Government’s decision to legalise rental e-scooters on UK roads as part of a 12-month trial period.
For TIER, the deal is an important step as the company looks to bring its unique e-scooter model to UK cities in a safe and responsible way.
Zego’s policy will cover all TIER scooters deployed in the UK and will be fully integrated into the rider sign-up process to ensure that users have the Government’s required Third-Party Liability insurance.