Voi is preparing its first UK e-scooter fleet after being selected to run e-scooter trials across Northampton and Kettering.
The Swedish e-scooter provider becomes part of the Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative, which plans to utilise new technology and innovative solutions to help manage the transport network. It also aims to provide better information to users and offer more travel options.
The agreement means Voi is now live in 11 countries worldwide.As part of the trial, Voi will:
– Offer rides at £1 to unlock + £0.20 per minute
– Create 50+ FTE jobs
– Integrate fully with local public transport network providers
– In-app verification of driving licenses
– Additional insurance for rider and third parties
– Offer Voi subscriptions for £10 a day/£40 a month alongside subsidised Voi-4-All Passes for low-income groups at £10 per month
– Support key workers with free rides and support local businesses to enable them to offer, or extend, delivery services
– Launch #RidewithVoila, its online traffic school, for local riders, with incentives to encourage riders to take a course before they ride
– Service e-scooters using e-cargo bikes or e-vans, ensuring zero emissions
Use energy generated from renewable sources to charge e-scooters and run the operationFredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said: “We are delighted to announce that Northamptonshire will be one of the first regions 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 Northampton and Kettering. Both are forward-looking, ambitious, growing towns that are keen to embrace new technology. This makes them ideal locations 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 bring about this huge shift in culture and travel habits, to the benefit of both cities and their residents.”
Richard Corbett, UK GM of Voi Technology, added: “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 1 in 5 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.”
On average, more than 200 deaths per year in Northampton alone can be attributed to air pollution with 45% of CO2 emissions coming from road transport. The partnership between Voi and Northamptonshire County Council will aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 400 tonnes across the region by August 2021.
Within the first three months of operation, Voi will assess and present recommendations to Northamptonshire County Council on any additional infrastructure requirements that it sees 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 Northamptonshire County Council’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.
Across the country, more than 50 councils and regional authorities are putting in place e-scooter pilots, which can run for 12 months. Cities including Liverpool, West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley), Cambridge and Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Southampton were amongst those to express interest in running a pilot.