Inokim has been developing e-scooters since 2009. With the legalisation of private scooters on the horizon, what does the future hold?
This piece first appeared in the June edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
British e-scooter brand Inokim started life in 2009 as a garage project, but today is one of the companies poised to take advantage of the next transport revolution.
With the UK Government slowly working its way towards the legalisation of private use e-scooters on public roads, Inokim hopes to provide consumers with an environmentally-friendly mode of transport.
The brand has a flagship store in London, and currently offers four models of e-scooter.
Inokim said: “Since 2009, Inokim has been revolutionising the e-scooter market. For over 12 years, they have pushed the industry forward, engineering e-scooters to the highest technical and safety standards, empowering thousands of people to take control of their travel in a sustainable way all throughout the world.”
While the micromobility sector offers huge potential to change the way people move, e-scooters in particular face some significant barriers to becoming a daily transport mode in the UK.
The most notable challenges in this country are perception, and legislation. It is currently illegal to ride private-use e-scooters on public roads in the UK, but that is expected to change in the foreseeable future, as the Government has opened the door to their legalisation.
Inokim added: “Getting the message out there with the right influence could be very challenging nowadays, however it comes with great opportunities as micromobility becomes a more mature sector where people are starting to realise what they want, in which format (e-bikes and electric scooters) and how it can help themselves and the carbon-free surroundings.”
In May 2022, the Government made the long-awaited announcement that new e-scooter legislation would be introduced in the coming parliamentary session.
The plan is for the introduction of a new vehicle category for low-speed, zero emission machines – namely e-scooters.
While initial reports suggested e-scooters could be legalised soon, things have gone quiet.
Inokim said: “It is a tough one to know really. We are hoping to see some adjustments and regulations in the coming 12 months or more until the legalisation will be brought forward.”
On what legalisation would mean for the micromobility market, and for consumers, Inokim said: “The impact will be across the board, if the legalisation finally arrives. The knowledge that the micromobility companies have now after a few years is pivotal for creating a peaceful, carbon-free environment. It will create an educational platform of getting the message out there and encourage people to use micromobility solutions for their day to day needs.”
Alongside the issue of private-use e-scooters, shared transport schemes like those operated by brands like Tier and Lime are another aspect to the micromobility mix that can impact perceptions.
A total of 31 rental e-scooter trials have been operating in England, starting in July 2020, with most authorities opting to extend the schemes when presented with the opportunity last November.
In Paris however, rental scooters proved more controversial, prompting the mayor of the city to hold an advisory referendum to gauge public opinion.
Despite a low turnout (only 8% of registered voters), an overwhelming majority of 89% voted to ban the scooters.
Inokim said: “Any solutions raised and implemented in cities related to the micromobility industry are welcome.
“The rental scooters are great but without safety measures and wider knowledge, it becomes a ‘not safe’ ride.
“Private scooters are more an ‘integration triangle’ where we educate the customer, the customer then executes safety on public roads, and others will seek more information to join the micromobility industry.”
Inokim currently has four products on the market, the Inokim Light 2 Super, Quick 4 Super, OX Super, and OXO, ranging from £749 up to £1,999.
The OXO is a heavy-duty machine, described by Inokim as the ‘SUV of e-scooters,’ with a range up to 68 miles and a top speed of 38mph. It also features a patented, adjustable dual suspension system.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Light 2 Super, which weighs just 13.7kg, has a range of 18.6 miles and a top speed of 22mph.
On the future of the brand, Inokim added: “We are proud on what has been achieved so far in getting our brand in more countries outside Europe, strengthening the brand and most importantly providing a great customer service platform where we feel closer and listen to the customer’s needs for us to improve and share it for everyone.”