Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, during his trade mission to the UK organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade, and innovation agency, welcomed the rapid take up of e-scooter services across five areas of the UK provided by Irish innovative start up Zipp Mobility, following their contract award by the UK’s Department of Transport.

Along with Ireland’s state electricity company, ESB, Irish start-up Zipp Mobility forms part of a cluster of Irish companies providing sustainable transport solutions to the UK, aligning with UK Government’s net zero goals 2050.

The company has been approved by the UK Department of Transport as an e-scooter provider to operate e-scooter trial schemes in five UK areas: Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, Taunton and Minehead.

In London today, alongside the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, during his trade mission to the UK, the Dublin-based micro mobility start-up shared their news of the contract win and the progress in demand for their services. The company also announced their commitment to further scale up their operations in the UK.

Welcoming the growth of the mobility company in the UK and across Europe, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD praised the progress the company had made in a short space of time with their innovative and sustainable mobility solutions. The news came as Leo Varadkar visited the UK for the start of a three-country trade mission focused on further boosting trade collaboration between Ireland and the UK.

Leading the trade mission to the UK, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said, “Ireland and Britain will always have a close relationship. Our two countries are interlinked in myriad different ways, and we will be looking to strengthen those ties as we emerge from the pandemic and face into future challenges, such as climate change and digitalisation. Irish companies have created over 125,000 jobs in Britain. By working closely together, building on existing partnerships and building new ones, we hope to create more jobs and prosperity for both countries. I’m looking forward to visiting the U.K., as part of my first in-person trade mission as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and I’m really happy to be bringing some good news with me of Irish companies investing and creating jobs on the ground.”

Charlie Gleeson, CEO and founder, Zipp Mobility, said, “We are delighted with the success to date of our e-scooter operations in five locations across the UK. It is fantastic to see our customers embracing e-scooters as a great way to get around, which also is a better option for sustainable transport.”

“Our goal for next year is to expand our UK operations by securing additional licences and offer our ‘mobility done right’ service to more and more customers. In addition to expanding operations in mainland Europe, we especially look forward to introducing our service back home to customers in Ireland once e-scooter legislation is passed. With these expansion plans we expect to create at least 10 new jobs by the end of this year,” he added.

Zipp’s UK customers have already completed over 150,000 journeys, spent over two million minutes on their e-scooters travelling over 250,000 miles, which has contributed to avoiding an estimate of over 30-tonnes of carbon emissions.

Currently employing over 25 people across Ireland and the UK, Zipp Mobility has raised €2.1 million in funding. Investors include Brian O’Driscoll, the former international Irish rugby legend, Barry Maloney, Chairman of Workhuman, the HR technology company, which is one of a select group of Irish companies to achieve unicorn status, and Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade, and innovation agency.

Accompanying the Irish Deputy Prime Minister on the trade mission, Enterprise Ireland’s Chief Executive Leo Clancy said, “Our long-standing business relationship with the UK is built on the shared values that exists between both countries, as well as our pro-enterprise and pro-competition business environments. The deals announced on this trade mission will see more jobs created in the UK, even closer links between our two business communities, and advancing innovation to solve the challenges of the world today.”

“With our team of Market Advisors working across the UK, Enterprise Ireland is helping both Irish and British companies to find collaborations that solve the challenges they face to create opportunities for further growth, greater competitive advantage in the global marketplace, and to create and sustain jobs,” he added.

Maintaining a policy of only using zero-emission vehicles (electric vans and cargo bikes) to manage their operations, Zipp’s e-scooter features an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, 10-inch airless tyres, a swappable battery, dual braking, a wide base and a low centre of gravity.

As Ireland’s leading micro mobility provider, Zipp ensures safety by using geofencing, a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area, meaning that e-scooters will not work outside of designated areas and slowdown in designated ‘slow speed zones’. Scooters must also be parked at specially designated “parking bays” to prevent obstructions in the city. Each e-scooter has a lifetime of more than two years, compared with the estimated industry average for shared scooters of just 18 months.