Earlier this year, when coronavirus shutdowns cut pollution and offered a brief reprieve from toxic air in some of the most polluted cities, the world took notice. Between 22 May and 2 June, 2020, the Clean Air Fund polled five countries —the U.K., Bulgaria, India, Nigeria, and Poland — and found overwhelming support for stricter air quality regulations and calls for tougher enforcement of existing rules. In India and Nigeria, about 90% of people surveyed said they want better air quality. More than 80% of those surveyed in both countries said they supported repurposing roads for pedestrians and cyclists. In every country, significant majorities — ranging from 70% of Britons to 93% of Nigerians — want “improved” public transport. That’s where micro-mobility comes in —e-scooters promise to not only transform the way we move, but how we impact the environment.
E-scooter sharing launched in 2018 and took the urban transport sector by storm, as the fastest-growing mode of transportation ever documented. Within a year of operation, electric scooters became a mainstream part of everyday travel for citizens in metropolitan areas globally. But just as fast, concerns began to emerge about the poor environmental practices of certain operators. A salvo of media headlines called out poor hardware and operational models.
We can confidently say that micro-mobility plays an important role in shaping fossil-free cities.
Much has changed in those two years, and at Voi, we can confidently say that micro-mobility plays an important role in shaping fossil-free cities. Our mission is to provide sustainable first- and last-mile mobility solutions that enable people to move freely while helping cities reach their 2030 climate goals by reducing pollution and breaking traffic gridlock. E-scooters help to reduce car usage and congestion, contribute to more efficient use of parking and other shared public spaces, and offer substantial environmental benefits.
To celebrate Clean Air Day 2020, we want to share some insights about how Voi e-scooters will help you breathe easier:
- Every Voi ride is 100% carbon neutral.
- With a lifespan of 5+ years, e-scooters have a carbon dioxide footprint of only 18q CO2 eq. per passenger per kilometre. By contrast, for a car it is more than 120 per person per kilometre.
- Voi scooters are equipped with swappable batteries, which reduce operational emissions by 51%. These are a game-changer for green operations, because the batteries can be changed on the spot rather than transporting entire scooters back and forth to warehouses. The batteries can also be transported with lighter electric vehicles, such as cargo bikes, which are charged via renewable energy.
- Voi has pledged to recycle scooter parts wherever possible and recycle all materials used in the vehicles.
- 63% of Voi users combine an e-scooter with public transport to complete their journey.
Voi recently rolled out its services in the U.K., where we’re committed to improving sustainability and ease of travel in the regions in which we operate. Based on forecasted scooter fleet sizes (which differ from city to city), a 12–16% car replacement rate, and standard utilisation rates, over the course of the trials Voi expects to save between:
- 80–470 tonnes of CO2 eq. in Northampton;
- 256–525 tonnes of CO2 eq. in Birmingham;
- 60–195 tonnes of CO2 eq. in Coventry;
- 88–196 tonnes CO2 eq. in the West of England (including Bath and Bristol); and
- 102–199 tonnes CO2 eq. in Liverpool.
The exact number will depend on local adoption and the shift away from cars and other carbon-intensive modes of travel, but we can already feel crisper, cleaner air filling our lungs. A low-carbon future and cleaner air can only be accomplished through teamwork. Making the transition to a scenario where micro-mobility meets the needs of cities, providers, and users depends on establishing a more supportive regulatory framework. Close collaboration between public transport operators and councils, as well as our inclusive pricing and community outreach, can help foster sustainable habits and increase modal shift away from cars.