IMC Newsdesk

Helbiz to start e-scooter trials in UK cities

  • July 7, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

New York transportation company Helbiz looks set to be one of the first to take advantage of UK regulations that came into force this week allowing trials of rental e-scooters.
Helbiz says it plans to enter the UK market and expand its fleet operations. The company aims to partner with local cities and municipalities within the UK to provide safe, sustainable and affordable last-kilometre transportation, while creating jobs within each market it operates.
“When social distancing is key, micro-mobility, such as e-scooters and e-bikes, offers an environmentally-friendly and socially conscious travel option,” said Salvatore Palella, founder and CEO of Helbiz. “The UK has always been an important market for Helbiz, and we’re excited for the opportunity to partner with cities across the market to help demonstrate the economic, environmental and social benefits of our micro-mobility fleets.”
Helbiz has identified more than 20 cities across the UK where its fleet of e-scooter and e-bikes would seamlessly integrate into existing transportation infrastructures or offer an alternative travel option. It plans to hire dozens of full-time employees, including skilled workers such as engineers and mechanics, in each city it enters, while building community programmes that help foster talent and develop careers.
The company has an established UK office and a regional manager that will execute the deployment of its fleet, manage the warehouses, and lead the on-the-ground operations and recruitment efforts.
Similar to its other markets, Helbiz will launch an apprenticeship programme in the UK to provide employees career pathway opportunities in the growing, high-demand mobility industry. The company will also offer an access programme, providing unlimited free rides for up to 30 minutes for residents with an income at or below 200% of the poverty line. Additionally, Helbiz plans to launch community initiatives to engage with locals and help drive the awareness and adoption of micro-mobility around the area.
“As the market leader in Italy, we partnered with the Italian government’s Covid-19 Task Force last month to provide transportation guidance and support as the country gradually lifted its stay-at-home order,” said Palella. “To ease travel burdens and limit public transportation use, we offered essential workers free rides in all the cities we operated in across Italy. Just as we were able to support Italy during the pandemic, we hope that we can offer our services, experience and support to the UK during these uncertain times.”
Users can download the Helbiz app on iOS and Android to geolocate, rent and unlock e-bikes directly from their phones with a tap and park them at bike racks or at available designated parking hubs when finished with their ride.
Launched in 2017 and headquartered in New York, the company operates e-scooters and e-bicycles in over 20 cities around the world including Rome, Washington DC, Milan, Madrid, Belgrade and Miami. Helbiz uses a customised, proprietary fleet management platform, artificial intelligence and environmental mapping to optimise operations and business sustainability.