Irish e-mobility startup Zipp Mobility has announced that the UK Department for Transport has approved its e-scooter model for trials across the UK.
Until now, riding e-scooters on roads, cycle lanes or pavements has been illegal in the UK due to safety concerns. However, as part of a strategy to explore greener and more ‘socially distanced’ methods of urban transport due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government announced plans to accelerate trials of rented e-scooter schemes. From now on, all UK regions can launch e-scooter sharing schemes, in partnership with scooter firms like Irish startup Zipp Mobility.
Founded in 2019 by 24-year-old Charlie Gleeson, Zipp is a dockless scooter startup, headquartered at the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. The small team’s mission is to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by providing affordable micro mobility alternatives that enhance the quality of life of communities across the world.
The Zipp e-scooter has been designed with safety in mind, including an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, a wide base, dual braking, 10-inch airless tyres, a swappable battery and a low centre of gravity. The scooters also have nano-septic handlebar wraps, which the startup state reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by 99.98%.
Currently the team is engaging with a number of councils to secure e-scooter licences.
“Receiving approval from the DfT is a hugely encouraging affirmation of what we are striving for at Zipp”, said Charlie Gleeson, CEO, Zipp Mobility. “Not only does this confirm confidence in the safety of our e-scooter, it also re-affirms that our bid for a more sustainable, responsible and transparent approach to the industry is one that is being readily welcomed by authorities. The DfT approval demonstrates our readiness to help local governments respond to issues that have restrained the true potential of e-scooters as a means of future urban mobility.”
The news comes after the startup’s €300K seed funding which was closed in June, led by a London-based VC and private angel investors. They also recently expanded their team to target the UK e-scooter market.