An Irish electric scooter company is taking part in rental trials in the UK to see if scooters could be used as a form of shared public transport.
The trials are part of the UK government's solution to address traffic congestion and to provide citizens with a more sustainable transport solution.
Plans to have e-scooters in UK cities have been accelerated as a result of Covid-19 in order to provide alternative transport solutions to people who may not want to travel on public transport or in taxis.
The company was founded by former banker, Damian Young who launched ZEUS Scooters in Heidelberg, Germany just three weeks ago after a year of planning. ZEUS already has agreements in place with six German cities to have its electric scooters available on the streets for public hire. The next German city where the scooters will be available is Ulm.
"Electric scooters are on the programme for government here in Ireland, yet electric scooters have still not been legislated for and are not a legal transport mode in Ireland yet," Mr Young said. "We would certainly hope that the Irish government will see electric scooters as a sustainable, environmentally friendly transport solution and a means of easing traffic congestion in Irish cities."
The company says the process to hire a ZEUS Scooter is simple and inexpensive. The user downloads the ZEUS Scooter app and the app identifies where the nearest ZEUS Scooter is located through its geofencing capability. Each ZEUS Scooter has a QR code which is scanned by the rider and this unlocks the ride. The user then stands on the scooter and starts to use their ride with usage being charged between 15 and 20 cent a minute.
Research has shown the average current length of time that someone will ride on a scooter is circa 15 minutes but the user can also opt for 'park mode' on a ZEUS Scooter if they are not using their scooter for a period of time but want to be able to hop on it again quite quickly without having to search for another one.
When the user is finished with their scooter, they simply park it up anywhere that's permitted through the app as it does not have to be brought back to a depot or dedicated parking area.
ZEUS Scooters plan to have over 7,000 scooters on the roads or cycle paths of Europe by the end of 2021.