Irish startup Eco Urban Scooters, which trades as Zeus Scooters, will rollout its first shared electric scooter rental service to the public in Germany next month.
Set up by Damian Young, former head of SME banking at Bank of Ireland, the company is in talks with authorities in several cities about a scooter-sharing scheme, which is similar to the model used for the Dublin Bikes scheme.
Young set up the business last year, working with a German software company and a Chinese manufacturer to develop the three-wheeled electric scooters. "This is a market which is growing rapidly," he said. "Micro-mobility is displacing cars, which cause pollution and congestion."
Heidelberg will be the first city to have Zeus Scooters available, with plans to have 200 scooters there this summer.
The company has carried out extensive testing to ensure the scooters comply with German regulations.
Legislation which covers the use of electric scooters and the relevant regulation was passed in Germany last summer.
"We have partnered with the local transport authority in southern Germany. They run the trams, the buses and our scooter will feature as part of their transport network," he said. "So it really provides that last-mile transport network."
Zeus manages the scooter app, customer services and other services linked to the scheme.
The company is in talks with a further 28 European cities and hopes to have more than 7,000 scooters on the roads or cycle paths by the end of 2021.
Young estimates that 5,000 cities across the world could sustain a viable scooter hiring service.
He is keen to launch the service in Ireland but there is still a lack of clarity around the regulation of electric scooters here.
The coronavirus has meant that Young has added a range of cleaning measures to the service.
Sunday Indo Business