TfL: Inside London’s new e-scooter trial with Dott - ‘We try to be as responsible as possible’

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The latest phase of TfL’s e-scooter trial has launched today in London (Monday September 25).

The next phase of London’s e-scooter trial was launched today (September 25), with an operator saying: “We want to be a plus to the city and not a minus.”

Dott, Lime and Voi were selected for the second phase of the trial, which Transport for London (TfL) says will “build on learnings from the first phase”.

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TfL says new technology such as pavement riding detection and audible vehicle alerts will be tested.

More than three million trips have been made on London’s rental e-scooters since the trial first launched in June 2021.

Mike Ventouirs, Dott’s London general manager, said: “At Dott, we try to be as responsible an operator as possible. We only operate in regulated markets. We work with cities to try and make a service that integrates well within the city. We want to be a plus to the city and not a minus.”

Dott started in London in June 2021 with 200 scooters and now has a fleet of 1,700 across 10 London boroughs, including Camden and Westminster, as well as the City of London.

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Ventouris said: “We’ve invested a lot of time and money in the way that we charge our batteries. We’ve developed charging cabinets where we charge 100% of our batteries. These are fire-proof, fire-resistant cabinets for up to 90 minutes.

“This kind of charging infrastructure is not something you’ll get on private vehicles and we’ve tried to be as responsible as we can to our neighbours in how we charge. We do all our charging in-house with swappable batteries. This stops us having to bring scooters back to the warehouse.”

Inside Dott’s e-scooter depot. (Photos by Jack Abela)Inside Dott’s e-scooter depot. (Photos by Jack Abela)
Inside Dott’s e-scooter depot. (Photos by Jack Abela)

The use of e-scooters on public roads is currently illegal in the UK, with the exception of trial hire schemes. The government has set a speed limit of 12.5mph but private scooters have been seen modified to hit speeds of 70mph.

The London scheme will run until May 2024 and Ventouris said that Dott is “excited to continue our journey in London”.

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Mike Ventouirs, general manager at Dott in London. (Photo by Jack Abela)Mike Ventouirs, general manager at Dott in London. (Photo by Jack Abela)
Mike Ventouirs, general manager at Dott in London. (Photo by Jack Abela)

TfL and London’s boroughs are understood to be exploring the design of a coordinated scheme to manage the parking of dockless e-bikes and e-scooters in the capital.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “London’s rental e-scooters are a great way to get around London, provided that they’re used and parked safely. The first phase of the e-scooter trial has been hugely popular and the findings are helping us develop our approach in London. I look forward to TfL launching the next phase, to see how e-scooters can be rolled out successfully in the capital, building a better, greener, safer London for all."

Helen Sharp, TfL's e-scooter trial lead, said: “London’s trial of rental e-scooters is gathering hugely valuable data and insights about e-scooters, having successfully delivered more than three million trips so far with operators Dott, Lime and Tier.

“The successes of the first phase of the trial and efforts from these operators alongside London Councils and the participating boroughs allows us to build on this through the next phase of the trial which will make it even safer, easier and more convenient to use e-scooters through a rental scheme. There are also new improvements planned on parking compliance and an increase in the number of parking spaces and in the number of boroughs taking part.

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“Safety remains our number one priority for this trial, and we will work closely with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and participating boroughs to ensure we continue to meet rigorous standards. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders, including TfL's Independent Disability Advisory Group, ensuring the trial meets the needs of everybody travelling through London. This new phase of the trial will provide even more data and insights to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.” 

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