E-scooter operator Voi is to triple its fleet of e-scooters in the UK cities where trials are currently underway. Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Bath, Northampton and Cambridge will all see more scooters added during December in response to strong demand from the public.
While the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads remains illegal, the blanket ban on riding them on UK roads and cycle lanes was partially lifted on July 4 to allow for trials of rented scooters covered by a motor vehicle insurance policy.
Voi has been operating in the UK for three months since the first trial was launched in Northampton. Despite regulatory challenges in Cambridgeshire and the Bristol and Bath scheme only having launched last month, the firm is set to hit the milestone of 250,000 rides this weekend.
In response to this, the firm is to increase its fleet size by 220% and will also expand its operational areas by 140%.
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, commented: “Trials were established to see how e-scooters could help cities get people travelling around. We are seeing that in the cities where they are offered, e-scooters are fast becoming essential to many people. As every Voi ride is carbon-neutral, e-scooters contribute to making cities healthier and more enjoyable places to live.
“We are very proud that Voi has helped support local communities and economies across the UK during what has been a challenging time. Voi is passionate about contributing positively to every town and city, and we will continue to work closely with local authorities to ensure shared e-scooters can support the existing local transport networks while contributing to reaching their carbon-emission reduction targets.”
Growth has in large part been driven by discount passes for students and university staff (Voi 4 Students), those on low incomes (Voi 4 All) and for NHS staff and Emergency Service workers (Voi 4 Heroes).
Since the beginning of the second lockdown in England on November 4, the firm has made rides free for Emergency Service workers and NHS staff. This has led to over 1,000% growth in Voi for Heroes pass users in less than a month.
In early 2021, Voi will launch its first e-scooter trial in a rural district, in Barnstaple, North Devon. Other UK trials are also expected.