Usain Bolt – star of track and … well … track – is planning to bring his micro mobility company to the UK, with a launch event planned for 19 June.
The company recently launched in Paris, putting e-scooters on the pavements of the French capital as Bolt looks to spread his mobility solution to 20 European cities by 2020.
The problem that Bolt might encounter in the UK is that e-scooters aren’t legal. Well, they aren’t illegal, but you can’t ride them on the road or on the pavement, and that poses something of a challenge for an e-scooter rental service.
That’s why the UK’s rental solution so far has amounted to bikes, with London’s own Santander/Boris bikes taking pride of place with dedicated racks and parking places, while recent entrants Lime has its own bikes, dumped wherever they happen to fall.
And that’s one of the big challenges facing e-scooter rental companies in other cities: across the US and Europe, the pavements are getting littered with electric scooters from the likes of Bird and others – with Bolt’s offering recently joining the party. There have also been some significant accidents involving e-scooter riders.
Usain Bolt claims that B Mobility offers something different, with three e-scooter designs, which at the top level offers a place to put your bag and a cup holder – because riding a scooter one-handed while supping a latte from Costa isn’t an accident waiting to happen.
B Mobility doesn’t just offer scooters, however. At the Paris launch event, Usain Bolt unveiled the B Nano, a micro electric car. Perhaps the plan is to launch these onto the UK’s streets instead, allowing ad hoc rentals around major cities? Perhaps Bolt is going to pivot into offering bikes?
Certainly, we can’t see how, legally, Bolt will be able to get his scooter rentals off the ground and on to the higgledy-piggledy pavements of the UK’s cities.
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