Tier has launched the “first-ever” e-scooter with user swappable batteries along with a Europe-wide charging network.
The new model enables riders to exchange batteries at charging stations which Tier is setting up across European cities, allowing them to earn free rides in the process. The company said its vision is to introduce the same swappable battery to its portfolio of shared vehicles so that in future all will be powered by the same charging network.
The charging stations are fully-automated and will be placed inside convenience stores, cafés, and other partner locations. They require no store staff oversight and no installation is required. Hosting a charging station is at no cost for partners, as Tier is also paying for all electricity.
The technology was pioneered by the London-based hardware startup Pushme, which Tier acquired earlier this year.
Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of Tier, said: “By integrating this new kind of swappable battery technology, we are building a Europe-wide charging network that allows users to play an active part in adopting climate-neutral travel and building better cities. At the same time, by hosting the charging pods in local businesses, we are helping high streets to recover from lockdown.
“This is a crucial step in Tier’s electric revolution to make mobility better. It is our plan that in time our charging network will not just service e-scooters, but other vehicles too.”
The new scooters will initially be deployed in Tampere, Finland, where a 1,000-strong fleet will be supported by a network of 50 charging stations across the city, following an oversubscribed process to select participating venues.
This model, with charging stations housed in various locations around cities, will shortly be rolled out across all European countries where Tier operates. To do this by the end of 2021, the company is seeking strategic partners to host the network.