England tops 3,000 shared e-scooters

There are now more shared e-scooters than bike-share bicycles in the country (outside London).

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The number of e-scooters available for short-term hire in the UK now exceeds 3,000, just three weeks after breaking the 2,000 vehicle milestone. And fleets continue to launch and expand across England. (The other home nations have yet to join in.)

Shared e-scooters top 3000

The numbers topped 3,000 for the first time as Voi continued to expand its fleets in Northampton, Cambridge and Birmingham city centre, Spin grew its Milton Keynes operation, and Ginger doubled the number of scooters in Middlesbrough.

The largest single fleet is Voi’s in Northampton, which has grown steadily to now number around 560 scooters. In Milton Keynes, three operators (Spin, Lime, Ginger) have a combined total of 600. At the bottom of the list, Zwings’ has around 40 scooters in Yeovil, while Beryl has just launched a small (but growing) fleet of 20, in Newport on the Isle of Wight.

Almost every one of the 29 fleets across England has grown since launch, suggesting good take-up and usage, and enthusiasm for the novel model of transport. Only one, Ginger’s Redcar operation, has permanently closed so far, although it is looking increasingly likely that Voi’s e-scooters in Coventry will not return to the city centre (having been suspended after just five days) but instead will relaunch at the nearby University of Warwick campus.

Outside London, there are now more e-scooters to hire in England than there are bike-share bikes. This is incredible when it’s considered that e-scooter sharing has been in Britain for less than six months, while bike-share in England stretches back more than 10 years.

Data

First fleet launch: 13 July (Ginger in Middlesbrough with 25 scooters)

  • 1,000 scooters: 14 October 2020
  • 2,000 scooters: 5 November 2020
  • 3,000 scooters: 26 November 2020

Currently:

  • 29 fleets (27 active; one suspended; one closed)
  • 11 operators providing the service
  • Only one city with competing operators (Milton Keynes). London (next year) will have up to three competing operators
  • None in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

Coming soon:

  • Fleets announced in Whitehaven and Barnstaple
  • Six Essex towns will be getting e-scooter sharing from Spin although this may have been delayed
  • London and Newcastle are tendering and will likely launch in the next few months
  • Portsmouth and Southsea may also be getting e-scooters soon
  • Canterbury’s area due to expand soon and allow public use

Note on data quality: All numbers in this article are approximate. Only some operators publish their availability data feeds, so a number of simplifications, estimates and manual observations are made by Zag to complete the data. Sadly, UK authorities have not yet insisted on open publication of scooter availability feeds, unlike their counterparts in the USA.

This article was updated on 9 December to reflect that Zwings in Yeovil is actually a smaller fleet than the previously mentioned Bird in Canterbury.

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Photography by

Zag