US e-scooter giant Superpedestrian will enter the UK market for the first time in Nottingham and Derby.
The firm, which claims its Link e-scooter is ’the safest and smartest’ device available to rent in the world as it includes a number of safety based features, will replace Wind Mobility’s current fleet of e-scooters as part of a trial to evaluate the use of e-scooters in the counties.
The move follows a £3 million investment by Superpedestrian to help Wind address its key concerns of unregulated e-scooter use such as pavement riding, incorrect parking, damaged scooters and safety concerns for people with visual impairments.
Anyone hoping to ride the new e-scooters must be 18 years old, with both cities raising the minimum age to rent an e-scooter to bring the scheme into line with other areas such as London.
Superpedestrian’s safety claims are based on the fact that the Link’s footboard is 20% wider and 9% longer, allowing for a more stable ride. An on-board diagnostic device also checks 140 safety-critical conditions before every ride, and runs around 1000 vehicle health checks during each ride, taking a scooter out of service if a repair is needed.
The ‘smartest’ claim stems from the chassis being designed to protect the battery from inclement weather and vandals. Link e-scooters are also geofenced to keep riders in specific areas.
“With more than one million rides over the past year, Wind’s Nottingham and Derby e-scooter trial has been among the most popular in the UK. Upgrading our fleet to Link e-scooters will enhance the safety of the scheme, reduce repairs, cut waste, extend service life and increase fleet availability,” said Lukasz Rybak, city operations manager at Wind UK.
Superpedestrian VP Haya Verwoord Douidri added: “This will contribute to the country-wide learnings being gathered by the UK through these forward-looking trial zones, supporting the DfT and Government.”