Voi gets ready to put its first fleet of e-scooters on UK streets after being selected to run an exclusive e-scooter trial across Northampton and Kettering by Northamptonshire County Council.
The trial forms part of the Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative which is utilising new technology and innovative solutions, from business such as Voi, to help manage the transport network; provide better information to users; and offer more choice as to how they travel. The trial, now approved by ministers, will enable residents and visitors to the area to leave their cars behind and benefit from a new, convenient and low-carbon way to travel.
With this exclusive contract win, the Swedish e-scooter provider is now live in 45 regions and 11 countries.
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
- Provide safety pop-ups and helmets
- 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 operation
Fredrik 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.”
In the short-term ‘post-lockdown’, we are keen to see how the use of e-scooters can help people get back to work, education and training, especially with capacity restricted on public transport.
Jason Smithers, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Place for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Northamptonshire is committed to improving access to greener, more sustainable, more affordable transport for the benefit of everyone. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Voi, Europe’s fastest-growing e-scooter operator, to bring this exciting new form of transport to residents and businesses across the region. We chose to partner with Voi because of its collaborative, responsible approach which is going to help us achieve our 2030 Climate-neutral target. In the short-term ‘post-lockdown’, we are keen to see how the use of e-scooters can help people get back to work, education and training, especially with capacity restricted on public transport.”
Richard Corbett, UK GM of Voi Technology, said: “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 1 to 3 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), Newcastle and Southampton were amongst those to express interest in running a pilot. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has already selected Voi to run its 12 month scooter and e-bike trial which starts imminently.
Voi is the fastest-growing pan-European micro mobility startup providing e-scooters and e-bikes to five million registered users. Voi has achieved 25 million rides to date.