Buckinghamshire Charged and Ready for New e-Scooter Trials with Zipp Mobility
A fleet of new, state-of-the-art electric scooters will soon be available in High Wycombe and Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire, UK) as part of a 12-month trial announced by Buckinghamshire Council.
The Council is partnering with Zipp Mobility, the Irish micromobility start-up, who are taking a bespoke approach to how the company runs the trial in Buckinghamshire. This will help address many of the concerns that have arisen in some of the trials that got underway in other UK towns and cities earlier in the year.
Zipp Mobility has set up operations in High Wycombe and will create seven new local jobs, during the trial period.
Following UK Department for Transport (DfT) approval for Buckinghamshire Council’s proposal, the e-scooters will provide local people with an alternative, convenient and more environmentally friendly way of getting around during the pandemic, particularly for those shorter journeys which might otherwise have been made by car.
The two trials, expected to be operational from later this month, will follow popular routes through both towns and special 'geofencing' technology will prevent them operating outside of set areas. Special 'parking zones' will also be marked out at popular points to make pick up and drop off easier.
Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Nick Naylor said, “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all experienced huge changes in our daily lives, not least in the way we travel. In addition to looking at ways to encourage more cycling and walking, the e-scooter trials bring a new dimension to short distance travel in our two main town centres.”
“With coronavirus restrictions set to be with us for months to come, it’s vital to keep investing in our town centres and new forms of micro-transport have the potential to make a considerable contribution. That's why we're really looking forward to working with Zipp Mobility on this innovative trial."
Zipp Mobility, founded by Charlie Gleeson in 2019, is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. The company is also an Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up client company.
Charlie Gleeson, founder of Zipp Mobility, said, “Our vision is ‘micromobility done right’ and we are excited to make that a reality by bringing our uniquely safer model of scooter-sharing to Buckinghamshire.”
At the core of the Buckinghamshire trial is safety, both for the e-scooter riders themselves and other road users and pedestrians. Zipp Mobility has already led several informal discussions with local councillors and other stakeholders, in particular representatives of disability organisations, to understand their concerns and address them directly in designing the trial.
Will O’Brien, Vice-President of Growth and Government Affairs, Zipp Mobility said, “It is vital to us that we work closely with Buckinghamshire Council and local stakeholders whilst we design and plan this trial in order for it to best meet the needs of the community. Through extensive stakeholder engagement we have gained valuable local knowledge which we have incorporated into the design of this trial to ensure we deliver the best service possible for Buckinghamshire.”
Zipp’s scooters are amongst the most robust on the market. Designed in California, specifically for the rental market, they exceed the DfT’s required technical specification.
In order to ride an e-scooter, a person will have to be over 16 and at the very least hold a provisional driving license. A verifiable ID check will also be undertaken before a rider can hire a scooter. Scooters will be booked and paid for via the Zipp Mobility app. The Zipp scooters will be using geofencing technology to prevent riders from going into wholly pedestrian areas or onto major roads. If they try, the scooter motors will slow down to a standstill – until they return to a permitted riding route.
The maximum speed limit is 15.5 mph and it is possible to use the technology to automatically reduce speeds and create slow zones in specified areas. The scooters are also fitted with autosanitising handlebar wraps that kill 99.98% of coronaviruses in minutes in order to reduce Covid-19 transmission risk.
To reduce the incidence of ‘scooter littering’ (where scooters are simply abandoned by their riders) the Buckinghamshire scheme will utilise marked parking bays where riders will start and finish their journeys. Additionally the Zipp Mobility app requires users to take a photograph of their scooter after they have parked it to ensure they have done so appropriately.
During the trial there will be regular opportunities for community feedback and the trial can be modified at any time to respond to local concerns or opportunities.
2 November 2020
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, NovaUCD, e: email@example.com, t: + 353 1 716 3712.
Zipp Mobility is an Irish e-scooter operator bringing a more sustainable scooter sharing model to cities in the UK, Ireland and further afield. The Zipp Mobility e-scooter has a useful lifetime of over two years, compared to the estimated industry average of just three months. Rigorous maintenance through local on-the-ground teams will ensure this extended lifespan. The start-up further commits to green operations through its ‘end-of-life’ plan, recycling and re-using all parts when scooters do fall beyond repair. In addition, Zipp’s all-electric charging fleet and use of swappable batteries makes them 10 times more energy-efficient than the widely-used gig economy model. www.zippmobility.com
At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech companies as part of UCD's mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies such as Zipp Mobility. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.novaucd.ie