There are now over 11,000 rental scooters available in around 50 towns and cities in the UK.
You’ve probably seen these quirky-named electric scooters - such as Vio, Tier, Wind - whizzing around the UK. Whilst riding a privately owned e-scooter on public land isn’t yet legal, hiring one of these bad boys is. So, why not get your practice in before you consider buying your very own?
In July 2020, rental e-scooter companies were given the green light to start trialling the use of these vehicles across many cities in the UK, with many companies deploying fleets.
So, where exactly in the UK can you hire an e-scooter?
In September 2020, Birmingham became one of the first cities in the UK to approve its e-scooter trails. Swedish micro-mobility, and carbon-neutral firm, Voi, was chosen as the partner for Birmingham city centre.
Birmingham has recently implemented a tax on high-polluting cars, with the launch of its 'Clean Air Zone'. This campaign comes as a fight against the city’s rising levels of congestion and poor air quality. In an emission-conscious city, it's no surprise e-scooters soared in popularity. The introduction of e-scooters couldn't come at a better time, and the scheme is now being extended across the West Midlands.
The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: "E-scooters unquestionably offer a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to the car for shorter journeys around our towns and cities, which will in turn help to ease traffic congestion and tackle air pollution.”
In March 2021, it was reported that e-scooters had already travelled 167,000km (103,000 miles) in Birmingham, boasting impressive popularity with the locals as a new way to commute and explore the city.
In October 2020, Nottingham launched a new scheme to make electric scooters available to hire to the public. The city partnered with Wind Mobility as part of a 12-month trial, offering a fun and greener alternative travel option - meaning you could quite literally ride like the wind!
During the UK’s second lockdown, not long after the shared, dockless e-scooter trails began, scooters became a covid safe way for many keyworkers and vulnerable members of society to get to work or travel. There was an unprecedented need for them during this time; Nottingham introduced a scheme to allow NHS staff long-term rentals of the e-scooter for a whole month, at a reduced fee.
Councillor Adele Williams, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “E-scooters will provide a greener travel option for people travelling in Nottingham. This has become especially important as we plan our recovery from covid-19 and try to encourage people to travel in different ways while social distancing is in place.
E-scooters offer the potential for convenient, clean and affordable travel, and reduce journeys made by car to ease congestion and lower harmful emissions.”
Zag recently shared some fantastic statistics, showing the success of the rental e-scooter trial across Nottingham:
“Since launching in October 2020, Wind has seen a high demand for its e-scooters, with residents of Nottingham taking more than 240,000 rides at an average distance of 1.9 miles per trip. In total, users have covered more than 435,000 miles and spent over 75,000 hours on e-scooters.” Read more.
Similarly, York launched their e-scooter trial in October 2020 and by no surprise, the scheme has proven very popular with the locals. York partnered with Berlin-based and Europe’s largest e-mobility company, Tier, to help cultivate a new way of travelling around the city.
With York leading the way for greener travel in the North of England, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Transport, Andy D’Agorne, explains: "York’s electric vehicle landscape is developing quickly, and we are pleased to see that the variety of transport modes available is widening the choice for residents to get around sustainably.
This trial is a great opportunity to explore how e-bikes can add to the mix of sustainable transport options in York, whilst helping to improve air quality and expand our electric vehicle offer.
We are working closely with TIER to ensure that this new mode of sustainable travel fits the needs of our residents and visitors as we work together to create a greener, cleaner city."
Due to the incredible response, York has also extended their e-scooter trial period, with Tier set to deliver 50 e-bikes and 250 e-scooters to the city, offering its visitors and residents more sustainable transport options.
It seems e-scooters are reshaping and reclaiming our streets, with the car historically being the dominating vehicle in most cities, it seems these small, green machines are taking over. But for the better. E-scooters are now making a real difference to the world of transport and offering the public a more sustainable way to travel.
Interested in joining the e-scooter hype? At Ride REEL, we have a choice of e-scooters and accessories to suit each individual customer. Click here to shop our full range.