Electric Transport for Everyone

Hannah Costello examines the partnership between FREE NOW and Zipp Mobility.

FREE NOW, a taxi provider service company, has partnered with Zipp Mobility, Ireland's leading micro-mobility provider – headquartered in UCD. They combine micro-mobility services with FREE NOW, making electric transport more available to the public. This partnership allows people who may not have access to electric cars to be more sustainable and choose to ride an electric scooter or bike. 

Access to more sustainable forms of travel 

In addition, this collaboration will enable people to hire eBikes and eScooters, giving access to more sustainable travel when Zipp rolls out their app across Ireland in 2022. This publication was released promptly after the Road Traffic & Roads Bill 2021, which has legalised eScooter use in public places to meet the ever-growing demand for versatile and ecological transport alternatives. So long as there is this demand – as indicated by a study conducted by FREE NOW, which concluded that 40% of its passengers would use the eScooters, provided by Zipp, for everyday transport. 

Furthermore, three-quarters of the people who took this survey believe that Ireland needs an increasingly eco-friendly environment to be on par with other countries in Europe. According to the Irish Times, Ireland is currently ranked 15th on the Sustainable Progress Index (SPI). Whilst there has been some progress made over the years in Ireland, it is nothing compared to other countries' fleeting efforts under the measures set out by the UN sustainable development goals. 

Ireland needs to be more eco-friendly

Zipp has previously launched their product in the UK and mainland Europe and plans to launch both the eBikes and eScooters across Ireland, with beginning set-ups in Spain and Portugal in 2022. The partnership with FREE NOW and their partnership with other eScooter companies allows for the empowering of sustainable urban mobility solutions in Ireland – this is an extension of the successful rollout from 2021 across Europe. 

Niall Carson, Country Manager of FREE NOW Ireland, commented, "We are delighted to partner with Irish micro-mobility operator Zipp and share common ambitions to change, and ultimately improve, the way people across Ireland approach daily transport."

He further added, "It's a really exciting time for the industry now that legislation on e-scooters is in motion, and we look forward to having eScooters available on our app in 2022. We understand that our customers want to make more sustainable choices, and having the option to book an eScooter or EV taxi facilitates this."

Charlie Gleeson, Founder and CEO of Zipp Mobility – who is a graduate of the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business – said, "We are thrilled to join the group of operators that are able to offer their micro-mobility services on the FREE NOW platform. At Zipp, we understand that micro-mobility is not a 'silver bullet' solution to decarbonising transport. We must collaborate with platforms like FREE NOW to give our customers a full spectrum of sustainable transport options. This is the only way we can meaningfully reduce our reliance on the private car and get to net-zero emissions in transport."

We only have one planet, we need to use more sustainable transport 

Taking this new collaboration to the UCD Students, here's what they had to say on the matter. "You're taking cars off the road, thus improving the environment. It also allows for people to save more money as they don't have to buy cars." However, another student raised concern over the safety of them, saying, "I like the concept of eBikes and eScooters, but I don't like the safety issues around them, they're quite dangerous, you can't hear them if they come up behind you. I'm also concerned over the accidents that they may cause with cars, with collisions and such."