Smart Transport

E-scooters could replace 5m car trips annually in London

Row of e-scooters parked on a street

London’s recently launched e-scooter rental scheme could replace five million car trips in London annually, if it reaches full capacity.

Analysis by one of London’s e-scooter operators, Tier found that at capacity, each operator would 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 utilisation rate of four rides per day per scooter in the capital - nearly 80,000 rides per day on e-scooters and over 29 million a year.

According to Tier’s consumer research, 17.3% of trips taken on rental e-scooters replace car journeys. When applying this to London, Tier said that 4.9 million car journeys could be replaced by e-scooters each year.

Tier said if all one-mile car trips in the capital were replaced by rental e-scooter trips, the modal shift would see a 233-tonne daily reduction in CO2 emissions – the equivalent amount of CO2 released by 240 return flights from London to New York.

Fred Jones, regional manager at Tier, said: “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.

“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.”

Silviya Barrett, head of policy, research and projects at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “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.

“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."

Use of data in London's e-scooter trial

Neil Peachey, Transport for London (TfL) senior business architect, presentated on how his organisation is using data to help inform the e-scooter trials at the recent Virtual Smart Transport Conference. 

If you missed the session, you can catch up by registering for our on-demand service here.

Those who have already registered for the event simply need to log on to the Smart Transport Conference website to watch any of the sessions again. 

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


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