Bucks fizzes and sparks as e-scooter player Zipp rolls in

Zipp Mobility has won a deal to roll out e-scooters in the Buckinghamshire towns of High Wycomombe and Aylesbury as part of a 12-month trial.

Buckinghamshire Council is partnering with Zipp Mobility, the Irish micromobility start-up, who are taking a bespoke approach to how the company runs the trial in Buckinghamshire.

This will help address many of the concerns that have arisen in some of the trials that got underway in other UK towns and cities earlier in the year.

“Our vision is ‘micromobility done right’ and we are excited to make that a reality by bringing our uniquely safer model of scooter-sharing to Buckinghamshire”

Zipp Mobility has set up operations in High Wycombe and will create seven new local jobs, during the trial period.

The news comes just months after the company was approved by the UK Department of Transport to trial its e-scooter model across the UK. In recent weeks ThinkBusiness reported how Zipp also won approval to run a 12-month e-scooter trial scheme in Taunton, the county town of Somerset.

In June, Zipp Mobility closed a €300,000 seed investment round and expanded its team to target the UK e-scooter market. This seed funding round was led by a London-based VC and private angel investors.

The e-scooters will provide local people in Buckinghamshire with an alternative, convenient and more environmentally friendly way of getting around during the pandemic, particularly for those shorter journeys which might otherwise have been made by car.

The two trials, expected to be operational from later this month, will follow popular routes through both towns and special ‘geofencing’ technology will prevent them operating outside of set areas. Special ‘parking zones’ will also be marked out at popular points to make pick up and drop off easier.

An electrifying development

Man in black jumper holding a scooter.

Zipp founder Charlie Gleeson

Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Nick Naylorexplained: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all experienced huge changes in our daily lives, not least in the way we travel. In addition to looking at ways to encourage more cycling and walking, the e-scooter trials bring a new dimension to short distance travel in our two main town centres.

“With coronavirus restrictions set to be with us for months to come, it’s vital to keep investing in our town centres and new forms of micro-transport have the potential to make a considerable contribution. That’s why we’re really looking forward to working with Zipp Mobility on this innovative trial.”

Zipp Mobility, founded by Charlie Gleeson in 2019, is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. The company is also an Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up client company.

“Our vision is ‘micromobility done right’ and we are excited to make that a reality by bringing our uniquely safer model of scooter-sharing to Buckinghamshire,” said Gleeson.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 3 November, 2020