Call for e-scooter legislation to secure future of revolutionary and sustainable new transport
London Wednesday 8 February 2023: Leading e-scooter and e-bike hire company Voi is calling on the Government to set a clear date for legislation to secure the future of the industry which is revolutionising transport across the UK - or risk losing jobs and investment.
Voi is the largest e-scooter hire company in the UK, operating England’s most successful scheme in Bristol - with experience of operating across 18 e-scooter and e-bike markets across the UK. Two out of three shared e-scooter rides are on Voi scooters across the UK trials.
Shared e-scooter schemes are run as trials set up by the Government to provide a new form of sustainable, easy to use and affordable transport to help local authorities reach their net zero targets.
Two-and-a-half years after setting up its first scheme, Voi has seen nearly 1.2 million people take 21.5 million rides, replacing over 8 million car journeys, generating more than £50 million across local economies in the cities Voi operates in the UK in 2022 alone.
But gains made by the micromobility industry could be put at risk if the Government is unable to give greater clarity about when legislation will be brought forward, warned Matthew Pencharz, Head of Public Policy for Voi UK, Ireland and Netherlands, when he appeared before the Transport Select Committee today (Wednesday 8 February).
“Almost three years after the trials were first started, the demand for e-scooters is proven with Voi alone having 21m rides, replacing over 8m car journeys.
“However, the industry doesn’t have certainty after May next year when the trials are currently due to end.
“Legislation will allow more cities and towns to use e-scooters as a sustainable method of transport for their communities, providing a firmer footing for the industry and the jobs and investment connected with it,” he said.
The government should follow through with its commitment to create a new, light zero-emission vehicle category for e-scooters, which are currently subject to the same regulation as motor vehicles.
The UK is one of the only countries in Europe which subjects e-scooters to the same levels of regulation as cars, despite e-scooters being a fraction of the size, weight, power, and speed of motor cars.
A new vehicle category should eliminate the need for all riders to have either provisional or full driving licences, opening up micromobility to more riders.
The insurance required should be brought in line with e-bike regulation. This would enable insurance companies to create policies better suited to e-scooters. Currently operators must provide Motor Third Party Liability insurance, as for all motor vehicles.
Government guidance should be updated to provide a more detailed framework on the management of e-scooter schemes, detailing the need for set governance structures, data driven decision making and clear goals at the local level.
Notes to editors
Economic benefits of e-scooters: https://www.voi.com/blog/cities-reap-53m-economic-benefits-of-escooters/
For further enquiries contact:
Senior PR manager, Voi UK and Ireland
+44 07966 370151
Senior Policy Manager UK and Ireland
+44 7825 321 962 | [email protected]
Founded in 2018, Voi is a Swedish micromobility company offering e-scooter and e-bike sharing in partnership with towns, cities and local communities. We believe e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our towns and cities in the future. We want to ensure that the micromobility transformation happens the right way - through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with towns, cities and governments and by adapting our products to local needs. Voi’s holistic Environmental Action Plan tackles emissions and promotes renewable energy use and circularity along its supply chain.
Voi operates in over 100 towns and cities across 11 countries. It is headquartered in Stockholm and employs 1,000 people. To date, Voi boasts more than seven million riders and has served more than 125+ million rides.