London e-scooter rental scheme could replace five million car trips a year

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A recently launched e-scooter rental scheme could replace five million car trips in London every year if it reaches full capacity. This is according to analysis from major e-scooter operator TIER. The research, which comes as London marks London Climate Action Week, demonstrates the significant environmental benefits that a rental e-scooter scheme can offer the city in years to come.

At capacity, each operator will be able to run a fleet of up to 6,600 e-scooters. By assessing usage data from operations across 115 cities in the UK and wider Europe, TIER has estimated a utilization rate of four rides per day per scooter in London. This means there will be nearly 80,000 rides per day on e-scooters and over 29 million a year. According to data from TIER’s own consumer research, 17.3% of trips taken on rental e-scooters replace car journeys. When applying this to London, TIER calculates that 4.9 million car journeys can be replaced by e-scooters every year.

TIER also assessed the potential CO2 reduction [1] if all one-mile car trips in London [2] were replaced by rental e-scooter trips. This modal shift would see a 233-tonne daily reduction in CO2 emissions. To put this figure into context that is the same amount of CO2 released by 240 return flights from London to New York [3].

“The potential environmental benefits of switching from cars to e-scooters for short journeys are absolutely staggering when you think about the size and scale of London and the number of vehicles on the roads,” says TIER Regional Manager Fred Jones. “The Mayor is rightly committed to improving London’s air quality, and that’s what makes the launch of-scooter schemes in the capital so exciting – it’s a unique opportunity to rethink urban transport in the capital and to reduce pollution levels. As the first carbon neutral e-scooter operator in the world, we are passionate about offering more sustainable transport and are excited to see the positive impact rental e-scooters can have on congestion in the city.”

“To combat a worrying rise in car use and air pollution post-pandemic, we need plenty of green travel options available in towns and cities to suit everyone’s needs,” says Silviya Barrett, head of policy, research and projects, Campaign for Better Transport. “Using e-scooters and other forms of micro mobility in combination with London’s extensive public transport network in place of some journeys currently made by car can bring significant health and environmental benefits.”

[1] Based on average CO2 emissions for newly registered cars in 2019 + calculations in Methodology
[2] TfL data
[3] Based on Guardian analysis of aviation emissions

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Lauren is acting associate editor for Traffic Technology International and freelance journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint as deputy editor of Traffic Technology International from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum two busy little girls. She is always in demand!