The partnership will initially launch in eight German cities next month, followed by France before a wider European rollout, which both companies say will include Ireland, should Tier be successful in launching an e-scooter rental scheme in one or more Irish cities.
The partnership follows the Government’s recent announcement that it will legalise e-scooters on roads, with the legislation expected to be passed in the coming months, followed by city tenders.
Anyone booking a Tier e-scooter through the Free Now app will get the benefit of safety features which include an integrated helmet, indicator lights, shock absorbers and the largest front wheel in the market to better handle varied terrain.
They also have triple brakes and a double kickstand which help with stopping distance and wind resistance.
Free Now general manager Niall Carson said: “Our new partnership with Tier is another key milestone in the growth of Free Now’s multi-mobility offering to passengers in cities across Europe.
“In the Irish market, we welcome this announcement and are working closely with Tier and other leading micro-mobility providers to offer passengers a broader range of transport options in the future.
“Already in other markets such as Germany and soon in France, we have a mix of taxis, e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds and car sharing on the Free Now app, offering a more integrated approach and we look forward to expanding this further in Ireland.”
‘Transform urban mobility’
Northern Europe general manager of Tier, Fred Jones, welcomed the partnership. “We are on a mission to transform urban mobility and to do that, we need brilliant global partners, like Free Now, who share our vision for greener, less congested cities,” he said.
“This partnership is a major milestone for Tier and we are hugely excited at the potential prospect of rolling out the feature in Ireland, so that Irish riders can have the convenience of booking a ride with the press of a button through the Free Now Ireland app.”
Separately, Tier has laid out plans to give retail and restaurant businesses in major cities an annual revenue boost which it estimates to be €4.2 million.
The company, which operates in more than 90 cities across Europe and the Middle East, including Paris, Berlin, York and Dubai, will also give away over €320,000 worth of free trips a year.
If successful in launching services in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, Tier will deploy fleets of e-scooters and e-bikes in the cities, all of which will be equipped with its rider-swappable batteries.
This model allows people to earn a free trip every time they exchange a vehicle’s battery with a fully charged one.
To facilitate this technology, the company will partner with local businesses, such as shops and cafes, who will house compact charging pods – known as “powerboxes” – where e-vehicle riders can make the swap.
Tier said people who visit the charging stations to swap batteries spend an average of €3.10 on goods while at the location.
Over a year, this amounts to over €18,000 in additional revenue for a participating business. With Tier hoping to install 227 charging pods across Ireland’s four biggest cities, the upside for businesses could be €4.2 million over 12 months.