Berlin-based micromobility operator Tier Mobility has launched what it claims is the first e-scooter with user swappable batteries, along with a Europe-wide charging network.
The new e-scooter model enables riders to exchange batteries at fully automated charging stations placed inside convenience stores, cafés, and other locations being set up across European cities. Tier said it aims to introduce the same swappable battery to its portfolio of shared vehicles so that in the future all will be powered by the same charging network.
According to Tier, this approach creates a more sustainable operation as much of the congestion and noise pollution previously associated with operating e-scooter fleets is eliminated, while recharge costs for fleets are also greatly reduced.
Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of Tier, said: “By integrating this new kind of swappable battery technology, we are building an Europe-wide charging network that allows users to play an active part in adopting climate-neutral travel and building better cities. At the same time, by hosting the charging pods in local businesses, we are helping high streets to recover from lockdown.
“This is a crucial step in Tier’s electric revolution to make mobility better. It is our plan that in time our charging network will not just service e-scooters, but other vehicles too.”
The new scooters will initially be deployed in Tampere, Finland, where a 1,000-strong fleet will be supported by a network of 50 charging stations across the city, following an oversubscribed process to select participating venues.
They will have a foldable helmet and indicator lights on the steering bar and back fender that clearly signal the rider’s direction to other road users. Tier said this adds to safety features previously developed, including “the largest front wheel in the industry”, a wider foot plate, dual suspension, a double kick-stand and dual drum brakes for stable riding on uneven surfaces and conditions.
The charging technology was pioneered by London-based hardware start-up Pushme, which Tier acquired earlier this year. Pushme has its manufacturing base in Aylesbury, Oxfordshire, where the charging stations are assembled.