E-scooter companies are lining up to launch services in Irish cities, with at least three rental outfits set to offer services here when the Government legalises their use.
urope’s largest e-scooter rental firm, which operators over 95,000 scooters in 16 cities, says it will enter discussions with local authorities as soon as the law is passed.
“We think this will be a good way to get around in cities like Dublin,” Tier CEO Lawrence Leuschner told the Irish Independent.
“When the legislation is there, we hope to launch as soon as our discussions with local authorities are complete.”
Others are waiting to launch in Irish cities too.
Dott, an e-scooter rental firm that operates 30,000 e-scooters in 16 European cities, says that it intends to enter the Irish market in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway.
“We have already had great conversations on the ground in different cities in Ireland and we look forward to engaging with more local stakeholders to ensure that our deployments in Ireland are as successful as our others across multiple European capitals and cities to date,” said Duncan Robertson, general manager for Dott’s UK and Ireland operations.
Irish firm Zipp, which is part-founded by former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll, has also announced its intention to launch in Ireland, with 450 e-scooters already in operation in the UK.
And another Irish firm, Brite, is eyeing expansion into e-scooter rentals here, having signed a deal with insurance company Zego to expand its fleet of electric ‘micromobility’ vehicles, including e-scooters and e-bikes.
The company says that it has “been in contact with Irish local and national Government offering its support to the Irish Government’s announcement to draft legislation on e-scooter and e-bike regulation”.
Electric scooters will soon be legal to use in Ireland without car tax, insurance or a driver’s licence, the Government said last month.
Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has approved draft legislation which will ‘regularise’ e-scooters and electric bikes as commonly accepted means of transport.
While there are thousands of e-scooters being used in Irish cities, at present the devices are legally classed as ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’, categorised in a similar way to motorbikes. That means that to use one legally requires a driver’s licence, motor tax and insurance. Gardaí regularly turn a blind eye to people using the devices round towns and cities, although some e-scooter owners have complained on social media about their vehicles being seized.
Mr Ryan said that the legislation will provide for a new vehicle category, known as ‘Powered Personal Transporters’ (PPTs). If passed, this will include e-scooters and similar devices. Tax, insurance and driving licences will not be required, he said.
The new law would also reclassify electric bicycles “mainly in the same way as pedal cycles” while more powerful models will be classified as light mopeds.
“We’re big believers that adopting micro mobility services will help corporations, governments and others not only achieve their carbon emission goals but also move their people around in a safe and efficient manner, without having to deal with traffic and the costs associated with parking cars and vans in our cities,” said Colin Barry, CEO and founder of Brite Mobility.