Dott, Lime and Tier selected for electric scooter test in London – TechCrunch
Transport for London and London Councils have announced that Dott, Lime and Tier Mobility are the winners of its prized electric scooter rider, confirming suspicions of last month on the basis of job offers by companies.
Last year, the government legalized attempts to rent electric scooters by local authorities, although driving private electric scooters is still illegal. This legislation has spurred the launch of TfL and the London Council’s open and competitive procurement process for viable operators. The pilot, which will run for up to 12 months, will begin on June 7 in select London boroughs, including Canary Wharf and the City of London. Other neighborhoods are expected to join as the year progresses, according to TfL. Lambeth and Southwark are also looking to participate.
Trips can only start and end in participating neighborhoods, which will designate parking areas for scooters that are dictated by the operators’ geofencing capabilities. However, cyclists will be able to roam freely in these boroughs and “transit zones”, which so far appear to be just Tower Hamlets. Between 60 and 150 e-scooters will be available for rental in each participating district. TfL will gradually allow operators who demonstrate high compliance to add scooters. Those who do not comply could see their number of scooters reduced.
Security and data sharing are fundamental requirements for participating scooter companies. TfL hopes to be able to use the data shared by operators to help London and the UK shape future electric scooter policy and study them as a viable option for London’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic. The mayor of London has set a goal of being a zero carbon city by 2030, green forms of mobility that reduce dependence on ICE vehicles are therefore essential.
“We are doing everything we can to support London’s safe and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and it is clear that electric scooters could be an innovative and greener alternative to car journeys,” said Helen Sharp, head of testing of TfL electric scooters in one statement. “This new trial will provide the data and information we need to determine the long-term role electric scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.”
TfL has described the following safety requirements for scooters:
- A lower top speed of 12.5 mph;
- Lights at the front and rear of vehicles which are always on throughout the rental;
- Audible warning systems which can be used without adjusting the grip of the handlebars by the cyclist;
- “First pass policies” requiring new users to take an online safety course;
- Rules against driving on sidewalks.
As with all the city’s governing bodies, street congestion is of particular importance to London. Along with strict geofencing regulations, there will also be a mandatory response time for operators in cases where vehicles have been improperly parked, damaged or causing an obstruction, according to TfL.
“The safety of those who use electric scooters, as well as other road users and pedestrians, is absolutely paramount, so it is important that they are tested in this rigorous way to ensure high standards,” said Will. Norman, London Walking and Cycling Commissioner, in a report.
Dott, Lime, and Tier will set their own rental rates, but they will need to be mindful of the needs of essential workers and low-income people by offering appropriate discounts. Lime is already offering its Lime Access Program in Operating Cities, which offers 50% reduction on journeys to people receiving public assistance and workers most affected by the pandemic.
Following Lime’s recent victory in New York and Paris, the company, which can be found in rides for electric scooters, bicycles and mopeds in more than 130 cities in Europe, the Middle East, the United States , from Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is simply cementing its dominance over the big cities. With its e-bike operations underway in London, the company was a must-have.
Berlin-based Tier Mobility, which also operates in Paris, is the second-biggest hitter. Its recent expansion to Krakow, Poland marked its 100th city, and the company plans to expand its coverage in Europe, the Middle East and new markets, as well as add e-bikes to its fleet.
In addition to electric scooters, Tier will bring its cyclist-swappable battery business to London, allowing cyclists to swap batteries at charging stations hosted at local businesses across London. This would allow runners to earn free trips while increasing footfall for businesses trying to recover from the pandemic. Additionally, this crowdsourcing approach has the potential to reduce the congestion associated with collecting and transporting electric scooters to a warehouse for recharging.
As seems to be the case with these metro scooter offerings, there is always a promising underdog. In the case of London, it is Dott based in Amsterdam, who recently raised $ 85 million in a Series B, and operates in around twenty cities in Europe. London will be Dott’s first city in the UK
This article has been updated to include other countries in which Lime operates.